Recurring Themes of Combat Dome

The following are themes, ideas or people who have appeared in Combat Dome media repeatedly:

BOB

Games: First Game, FFVII Game, DD&D, SS&S
Other: The Rules of Combat Dome, For Want of a Nail

There is a recently-written Rule of Combat Dome that every universe must contain at least one person named Bob at any one given time.

The first appearance of a Bob was in the First Game epilogue, arriving several centuries or possibly millenia too late to take part, and getting drawn into a conversation with Lazarus. Given that the Rule states there must be a Bob in every universe at ANY given time, we can only assume that up until this point there had also been some Bobs in the world - although that gets tricky when one considers that all life was at one point reduced to a few amoebae.

Another (or possibly the same) Bob is a major character in the FFVII Game. This Bob died in the climax, although possibly his soul remained on Gaia, and thus it may still be fulfilling the role of Gaia's official Bob.

Lu Tze names his donkey 'Bob' in DD&D, after St Bobby of Omnia, whom the donkey resembled. It is perhaps worthy of note, however, that a previously-esablished Discworld character named Bob probably pre-dates the donkey - being secretary of the League of Temperance and possibly a vampire.

One of the dwarven POLICE, BITCHES officers who tries to arrest Talhoffer and Victor on Diversity is named Bob.

A parallel version of Bob from the FFVII Game also supplies the obligatory Bob for the FWoaN universe, at least until he leaves to go back in time.

The COMA SICKNESS

Games: First Game, FFVII Game, DD&D, SS&S

Full article: The Coma Sickness

DEATH FROM ABOVE

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Games: First Game, FFVII Game
Other: Runs in the Family

So far two Combat Dome games have ended with a whacking great rock landing on some people…

As a convenient Deus Ex Machina to get out of seeing the First Game through to the end, the Game World and everything on it was brought to an untimely end by a really big asteroid. Despite seeing it coming, the asteroid was apparently too huge and fast for most people to escape - Springheel Jack and Nibbles escaped (apparently by accident) into an alternative universe, while Billy-Bo, Zion and an unidentified number of animals were launched into space just before it hit. Lazarus also survived - sorta - due to his innate immortality, but almost all other life was wiped out and had to start from scratch from tiny blobs in the darkest parts of the oceans.

By contrast, the Meteor that was summoned to destroy Gaia by crazed bad guy Sephiroth never actually succeeded in its goal - a mysterious holy materia, with the full strength of the lifestream behind it (this latter in turn being strengthened by the huge volume of souls diving into it at the time) managed to slow it down sufficiently to save everyone who wasn't in Midgar at the time. Who exactly these people were is unclear - although Von Insanity III may have been among them…

It should perhaps be noted that no apocalyptic space-rock has yet appeared in DD&D, but one of the previous plans of the Auditors to remove life from the Discworld involved just such a rock - unfortunately they didn't reckon on the sharp eyesight and acrobatic finesse of Great A'Tuin.

The GAMEMASTER and the JOKESTER

Games: All

Respectively the most powerful and second-most powerful beings in the Combat Dome multiverse, and the ones that make stuff happen. So far all CD games have canonically been created and controlled by the Gamemaster, with the Jokester merely contributing a few extra bits when He's bored. Soon, however, the Jokester will be given a turn at the controlling business…

LIFE AFTER DEATH

Games: First Game; FFVII Game; DD&D; SS&S
Other Media: Charge of the Phoenix

Death is not the end. At least, not if you're a Combat Dome character.

The First Game features Lazarus, a character who physically returns every time he dies - possibly because the Grim Reaper isn't speaking to him any more.

In the FFVII universe, the afterlife isn't a mystery - everyone knows you go to 'The Lifestream', a sort of constant energy flow within each planet. People do not normally return to their bodies once they've gone there, although Sephiroth seemed to manage. In addition, the use of Phoenix down and Phoenix materia can bring someone magically back to life - Loki dies three times, and still hasn't gone to the Lifestream.

On the Discworld, Lu Tze (and all Yeti) can 'save' their life up to a certain point, to which they then immediately return upon death. Also, the Auditors manage to bring several dead heroes and villains back from the past.

On Diversity, Undead when 'killed' are simply broken down into raw soul energy, transported through metempsychosis to the New Kingdom and reconstructed for further use in new bodies. All gravestones in the New Kingdom therefore read 'Just Resting'. It is also possible for mortal species to return from death if they can beat the Grim Reaper in some kind of test - from what we've seen, completing this test always involves learning a valuable life lesson. Temporis, as a being of pure nonsense, is less bound by all normal rules - including death - than other people, and so regularly escapes being technically dead through the use of his hat (don't ask). Those of Diversity who actually do genuinely die are taken first to the Realm of Shadows and Whispers (where they may undertake the aforementioned test against the Reaper), then on to Fiddler's Green, a sort-of waiting room for the afterlife from which they can be pulled back to life by a necromancer to become undead.

OKASS

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Games: First Game; FFVII Game
Other: Runs in the Family

Everyone loves a Badass. The whole leather coat, post-mortem quip, walking away from explosions without looking thing… it's just cool. However, Badassery, while many things, is not realistic. Not even sensible really. And as such, it is a trope which gets subverted a lot.
It seems to be a running trend in CD for characters to have Badass traits without actually being Badasses - OKasses if you will.

In the First Game, Lazarus wears full-body-covering armour and fights with a katana, but is pretty useless at everything he tries. Zion appears to be a battle-experienced stoic, but is actually more of a cynical 'accidental hero'. Springheel… we'll not talk about Springheel.

In the FFVII Game, this is possibly made more explicit, with the two characters who were designed to be badass (the plant-controlling soldier Brall and the Buster-sword wielding Bob) coming across a little like naive whiny kids, while the one character who was designed to be a bit of a whiny kid (The snarky, largely unenthusiastic Loki) ends up as an awesome acrobatic soldier with a shiny motorbike, some nice leathers and a lightsaber.

Dungeon Dimensions and Dragons contains an inverted version with Lu Tze, who doesn't seem like much but is actually one of the most feared badasses in Discworld history.

Swords, Sorcery and Shotguns has Angel, a beautiful, wisecracking action girl with a bigass sword (named Mercy) who loses the only fight she gets into (although to be fair, said fight was against an entire trained military unit) and then falls spectacularly to the Coma Sickness. It also has the metal-skinned, bestetsonned, ancient, ass-kicking Temporis - who turns out to be a native inhabitant of cloudcuckooland, with an attention span of zero and an obsession with rabbits. It also continued the inverted theme with the NPC of the Doctor (the multiverse's most genuinely-badass nerd) and, for the first time, features some genuine badasses in Talhoffer and Xylia - both of whom have shrugged off death itself, repeatedly.

SPRINGTIME FOR SPRINGHEEL

Games: First Game; FFVII Game; SS&S

A musical written by Springheel Jack in the First Game, a copy of which was also owned by the Sourceworlder in the FFVII Game. Another copy appears in the 'backstage area' behind the Fourth Wall of the Neutral Territory tavern in SS&S.

STUFF HAPPENS, DEAL WITH IT

Games: All of 'em, always…
Other: Arguably all.

As detailed in the unwritten written rules of Combat Dome, stuff can happen for any number of reasons. Often this will not be revealed despite major contradictions to previous plot/continuity/ideas or plans. This is always the result of a cunning decision on the part of the game master and can never be construed as being the result of forgetfulness or plain stupidity.

THEY FIGHT AND THEN THEY STOP

Games: FFVII Game; DD&D; SS&S

The six-word summary of War and Peace also pretty much sums up the relationship between several Combat Dome characters.

In the FFVII Game, Loki Brall and Bob all started off opposed to each other (Loki tried to turn Brall into a plant, Brall filed a report against Loki, Bob and Brall repeatedly tried to kill each other), yet put aside their differences remarkably quickly when it came to the climax.

While it never actually happened due to Critical Author Presence Fail, Lu Tze and Teatime (played by the same people as Loki and Brall) intended to do more-or-less the same thing.

In SS&S, Temporis and Tamel briefly ally after some initial hostility, and Xylia/Talhoffer and Xylia/Temporis alliances occur despite all parties by this point being aware they are technically at war with each other.

The First Game contains no instances of this, although it does have an interesting case of They Stop And Then They Fight between Lazarus and Springheel, again played by the same people as Loki and Brall…

TRANS-UNIVERSARY TRAVEL

Games: First Game, FFVII Game, DD&D, SS&S
Other: Life of Joanna Hojo-Be-Damned Whatyoulike, For Want of a Nail

Trans-Universary Travel (Pending catchier title) is the concept of travelling between universes.

It first appeared on the Game World (doesn't everything?) where Springheel travelled from Earth and back (taking Nibbles with him on the return) and Bob travelled from an unspecified universe. In both cases it appears to be done via a portal of some form. The Game World's local version of Death, however, exhibits the ability to simply fade in and out of Universes, although due to some strange exchange-system, when he returns from Earth he brings the empty coin chest through from his own world.

On Gaia, the Shin-Ra science department conducts in-depth research into the phenomenon, and as well as partly discerning how the Omniniverse is composed (see Strand Theory) they discover how to transfer first a particle, then a wooden block, then a dog and finally a human between universes. Mostly these transfers are between Gaia and the Sourceworld, although Hojo also visits Valhalla, the Discworld and the FFX universe. These transfers seem to require lots of energy and hi-tech safety measures, although the Sourceworlder, it transpires, can do it without this - visiting the HHGTTG universe and Gaia itself, among others. It appears he cannot always work out where he is when he does so, however, if implications in Joanna's Biography are to be believed. How he even does so is also unclear, but it seems to involve gold, and he can send other people the same way as seen in FWoaN…
Springheel also seems able to project his mind across the void into Gaia, where it lands in the body of Loki (perhaps indicating Loki is Springheel's other-world self? They are played by the same person and both swing violently between sophisticated and insane…).

In DD&D, multiple people from various universes managed to project dim shadows of themselves to Lu Tze, while the Auditors apparently managed to link all the universes together in order to send out the mutated Coma Sickness (a link which apparently resulted in Jenny becoming permanently stranded in the Discworld.)

In SS&S, Xylia occasionally goes on arranged trips across universes with the aid of J.W. Von Braun & Co, a transdimensional company, and as part of a very complicated conglomeration of hidden plans a huge multidimensional anomoly is created on Diversity which causes multiple cases of mostly-involuntary universe-hopping.

The Coma Sickness (see above) has travelled between all three major Combat Dome universes.

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