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"You know, I wasn't sure about this either, but they said I was better than the outdated 'lives and continues' system." Quarble

QuarbleIcon 8.png

Quarble is a character in The Messenger. He is a greed demon who follows around Ninja.

Quarble serves as a tool to handle player deaths: when the player dies, Quarble restores them to their previous checkpoint. He then follows the player around for a short period of time, stealing their newly-collected Time Shards CoinIcon Edited.png.



Quarble is a tiny flying red demon. He has curly beige ram horns at the top of his head, short arms with beige rings, short legs, a cyclops eye in the center of his face, and two small wings on his back.


Quarble is very sarcastic and insults Ninja quite often. He enjoys making jokes at Ninja's expense.


After dying, you are revived by Quarble and restored to your previous checkpoint.

New Game[]

  • Quarble preparing to flee after seeing the boss.

    Quarble follows you around, eating any new Time Shards you collect.
  • Quarble sticks around for 60 seconds before he leaves.
  • If you own the "Devil's due" shop upgrade, he sticks around for 30 seconds before he leaves.
  • Every 1 Time Shard removes 0.5 seconds. Every 2 Time Shards removes 1 second.
  • If Ninja is about to fight a boss, Quarble will get scared and immediately leave.

New Game +[]

  • In New Game +, Quarble takes upfront payment for revival and doesn't follow you. The amount scales with each cycle, as depicted in this chart.
  • If you don't have enough Time Shards upon death, Quarble will not revive you, and you will receive a Game Over.
  • If you've agreed to the Voodoo Mask's deal, Quarble will not revive you upon death. If you die, you will receive a Game Over.

Main Story[]

Quarble introduces himself while also insulting Ninja's lack of skills.

The first time that Ninja dies, Quarble revives him and remarks that he has a new customer. Ninja appears back at his last checkpoint, wondering why he didn't die. Quarble introduces himself and explains that he has a magic ring that allows him to control space and time. Whenever Ninja is about to die, Quarble will stop time and teleport him back to his last checkpoint. Ninja asks what the catch is, so Quarble explains that Ninja will still feel the agonizing pain of death each time, and along with that, Quarble will use his notepad to keep track of Ninja's debt, stealing his loot until they are both even or until Quarble gets bored. Ninja does not respond, as if he's not pleased by Quarble's explanation. Quarble suggests he could just let him die, and again, Ninja does not respond. Quarble takes Ninja's silence as a vote of agreement for their partnership and tells him to carry on with his journey.

Quarble interrogates Quillble.

During Ninja's adventure, he eventually reaches Quillshroom Marsh and fights the Queen of Quills. He deals the final blow to the Queen of Quills, which prompts Quillble to freeze time and save her. If Ninja has never died up to this point, then Quarble does not appear. If Ninja has died at least once, then Quarble does appear. Quarble interrogates Quillble for more information, and Quillble reveals that she was exiled a long time ago when she was cursed along with her Messenger. Quarble pauses and seems to recognize Quillble's voice, but before he can finish his thought, she taunts Quarble and teleports away. Quarble also takes his leave and teleports away. Whether or not Quarble was actually present for the cutscene, time unfreezes, leaving behind a completely confused Ninja.

Quarble takes his upfront payment, directly out of the Time Shard counter in the upper-right part of the HUD.

In New Game +, Quarble is seen in the beginning of Ninja Village, writing down notes on his notepad. Ninja can speak to Quarble, where Quarble will explain information about the current New Game + cycle. Quarble behaves differently; he no longer follows Ninja around and instead requires an upfront payment of Time Shards in order to revive him. The amount of required Time Shards increases with each increment of New Game +. If Ninja doesn't have enough money upon death, Quarble does not revive him, and the player receives a Game Over.

Picnic Panic[]

For the main article, see Picnic Panic.

Quarble is worried that he might die.

Ninja reaches the top of the Fire Mountain and encounters Barma'thazël, who uses a Voodoo Altar to trap Ninja. The ritual brings forth the birth of the Dark Messenger and Dark Quarble. Barma'thazël explains that he placed Voodoo Idols capable of damaging greed demons in the heart of Fire Mountain, so Ninja must race to reach the idols before his dark counterpart does. Barma'thazël teleports away, and Quarble arrives on scene, displeased with the turn of events. Ninja asks why Quarble didn't arrive earlier, and Quarble responds that he is "not talking to pirate face ever again," referring to Barma'thazël. Quarble urges Ninja to prevent this, stating that he would rather not die. The Dark Messenger jumps into the volcano, so Ninja and Quarble take pursuit.

Inside the Voodoo Heart, Ninja races against the Dark Messenger through several levels. Attacking the Voodoo Idol at the finish line gives the victor's greed demon the power to deal damage to the opponent's greed demon. Should the player fail 5 races, Quarble will die, but an uncursed Quillble will turn back time, preventing Quarble's death and teleporting Ninja back to the very beginning of the challenge races. Eventually, Ninja wins all 5 races, killing Dark Quarble.

Quarble gets upset at Ninja for trying to sell his soul.

In New Game +, provided that Ninja has unlocked the Voodoo Mask, the Mask offers Ninja "THE DEAL," sacrificing Quarble in exchange for triple attack power and double health. If Ninja accepts, Quarble appears, enraged that he would sell his soul so casually and promptly attempts to call off the deal. However, the Voodoo Mask says "THE DEAL" cannot be called off, and then casts a voodoo magic spell, which terrifies Quarble. After the spell ends, Quarble is fine, and he is surprised that he was not sacrificed. The Voodoo Mask explains that voodoo magic is fueled by fear, so he only needed Quarble to think that he was about to die. Ninja attempts to apologize to Quarble, but Quarble cuts him off and berates him, stating that he will no longer revive Ninja. Should the player die at all with "THE DEAL" active, they will receive a Game Over.

Death Quotes[]

After Ninja dies and is teleported away by Quarble, a black screen appears, where Quarble makes a comment. The comment can reflect specific death types (projectile, spikes, etc.) or if Ninja has died many times in a row. Some of these comments reveal more information about Quarble's life and greed demon society.

First Death[]

  • Oh, a new customer!


A generic death quote.

  • If all else fails, you could try jumping.
  • I've saved your life # times already.
  • Thanks to you I've accumulated # Time Shards so far.
  • You know, I wasn't sure about this either, but they said I was better than the outdated "lives and continues" system.
  • Zigged when you should have zagged?
  • I totally called that one! Quarble just won another bet.
  • Or you could have watched your step.
  • # deaths prevented. Quarble MVP!
  • Admit it, you did that just because you wanted to see me!
  • The first paycheck always feels good, but at this point I mostly see the work.
  • Living outside of time, I tend to lose track. Have we met before from your perspective?
  • A whopping # Time Shards accumulated so far! I'm glad they assigned me to you.
  • I'd visit that Shopkeeper from time to time. # deaths is a bit worrying.
  • Perfect timing! It was my turn to buy a round.
  • # Time Shards in, I'm feeling some acid reflux. Maybe swallowing them isn't a good idea...
  • # deaths already, is that controller functioning properly?
  • Just so you can't say I'm always negative: Go Messenger! You can do it!
  • No, I don't want to take a selfie with you.
  • Why do I feel like you meant to do that?
  • If anyone asks, I'm taken.
  • Are you playing with your feet or something?


A death quote related to projectiles.

  • Did that projectile look like a health potion to you?
  • How you manage your budget is up to you, but I'd recommend dodging these in the future.
  • I'm not sure whether the enemy has good aim, or you just walked into that one.
  • Remember the 5 d's of dealing with projectiles: dodge, duck, dip, dive and destroy.
  • Might be a good idea to visit the Shopkeeper, though I don't think they carry awareness upgrades.
  • Oh come on that was an easy dodge! Are you playing with mittens on?
  • You know, you're not the first adventurer I've watched over. Others seemed to have an easier time with projectiles.
  • Clearly they never heard of "Don't shoot The Messenger" ...


A death quote related to spikes.

  • What do spikes and Quarble have in common? We both have your back! Hahahaha!
  • Pro tip: avoid the spikes.
  • One fall in the spikes a day keeps your spine not okay.
  • Or you could have watched your step.
  • A little aichmophobia might come in handy. I mean it, look it up!
  • Hey I'll be visiting the Shopkeeper later, should I grab something to reduce spikes damage for you?
  • Saved by the bell! Thanks for touching those spikes man, you just got me out of a very boring dinner.


A death quote related to falling into a pit.

  • "I really wasn't expecting you to fall in that pit." -That's what I would have said if I had any faith in you.
  • If someone's watching, you can pretend there was input lag.
  • Did someone tell you that was a secret passage? My brother used to do that...
  • If someone's watching, you can pretend you just wanted to show them how I always have random contextual insults when you die.
  • I'm starting to think you just want to find out when these death quotes will start looping.
  • Oh hi, I'm Quarble's co-worker, Quibble. Apparently I just had to see the face you make when you fall in a pit. Priceless indeed.
  • Who could have guessed you would just fall like that.


A death quote related to being squished.

  • Man that was painful to watch.
  • Sorry about the pain, but I can't pay myself back if death isn't confirmed.
  • I bet you wish these moving blocks were a bit more forgiving.
  • Ouch! This reminds of a story, but I can't tell it because I only have one sentence per death.
  • ...and then I said, "Look, you either put your socks on, or your sandals, but you can't do both". Oh sorry did you just get crushed?
  • Can't really play that one off with "You should see the other guy".
  • You pressed?


A death quote related to frequent deaths.

  • I could do this all day, which is good because it looks like I will.
  • I should probably be offering you a discount at this point, but it would only incentivize you to fail more.
  • Not that I'd ever give up on my best client, but I could use a break.
  • Looks like I'll be canceling that summer vacation.
  • The money's good, but I fear I might actually burn out.
  • At this point you could consider thanking me.
  • Can someone contact the director and explain to me how my actions don't justify a main role yet?
  • In case you were wondering, I did buy my pool. Now if I could have some time to actually use it, that would be great.
  • I think that's the highest tab I have ever seen.
  • Can I interest you in a payment plan?
  • Would you like to buy a 10 deaths package in advance?
  • We have a drinking game at the office, a shot every time I have to come and save you. Pretty festive ambiance at the moment...
  • Thanks for making me so productive, I got employee of the month!
  • I used to be the poorest of all greed demons. You really turned my life around!
  • Seriously, you're a gold mine! I'm not even declaring half of this revenue.
  • Are you really that bad, or are you testing my patience?
  • Ow! My magic ring is overheating!
  • Maybe I should rent my ring to you directly for a fixed price instead.
  • Since it looks like I'll be doing most of the work, do you want me to carry the scroll for you?
  • Are you sure about this mission? You don't look like you're in your element.
  • Could I talk you into sticking to a 9 to 5 schedule for your adventures? I'd like to spend some time with my family.
  • I don't know what to do with all my Time Shards anymore, so I made a donation in your name.

Game Over Quotes[]

In New Game +, Quarble requires an upfront payment in order to revive Ninja. If Ninja does not have enough Time Shards, it will result in a Game Over, which sends the player back to the beginning of New Game +1. Dying at any time with "THE DEAL" active will also result in a Game Over.

Game Over in New Game +1.

New Game +1[]

  • Sorry, you can't afford me.

New Game +2 or Higher[]

  • And just like that, it's back to New Game +1.


  • So, how did "THE DEAL" work out for you?


  • When Thierry Boulanger, the main writer and director of The Messenger, was asked if Quarble was fluffy, he replied no. He explained that a peach is soft on one side and rough on the other side, saying that Quarble's texture is like the rough side of a peach. He also mentioned that Quarble's eye texture is kind of gross.[1]
  • Quibble.

    In one of Quarble's death comments, the comment says that he's actually Quarble's co-worker, Quibble. This could be a joke or an actual character who looks exactly like Quarble, but it is unknown.
    • In the save file data, Quarble is referred to as "Quibble."
  • Quarble's death comments fail to take into account for singular quantities. So if Ninja dies for the first time on New Game +, or if Quarble only ever collects 1 Time Shard, then it's possible to see grammatically incorrect death comments.
    • "I've saved your life 1 times already."
    • "1 deaths prevented. Quarble MVP!"
    • "I'd visit that Shopkeeper from time to time. 1 deaths is a bit worrying."
    • "1 deaths already, is that controller functioning properly?"
    • "Thanks to you I've accumulated 1 Time Shards so far."
    • "A whopping 1 Time Shards accumulated so far! I'm glad they assigned me to you."
    • "1 Time Shards in, I'm feeling some acid reflux. Maybe swallowing them isn't a good idea..."
  • Whether or not the player uses a keyboard, they'll still see the death comment related to using a controller.
  • Even if the game is paused, Quarble continues to fly in place and flap his wings.
  • Quarble in a beta version of the game.

    In the beta version of the game, Quarble used to stick around during boss fights rather than immediately leaving. Game programmer, Sylvain Cloutier, confirmed that Quarble was removed because he was too distracting.[2]
  • If Ninja has 0 deaths:
    • The cutscene that occurs after defeating the Queen of Quills is altered to have Quarble absent, meaning the conversation between Quarble and Quillble does not take place.
    • It's impossible to purchase the "Devil's due" shop upgrade, meaning that you can never obtain the Money Sink in the shop.
    • Everything else in the game remains unaffected.
  • If Ninja's first death of the playthrough is during the Abomination chase sequence, Quarble will still do his normal introduction sequence, and the Abomination will wait patiently for the dialogue to end.[3]
  • If Ninja's first death of the playthrough occurs any time after the voodoo ritual cutscene at the top of Fire Mountain, then Quarble will never do his introduction spiel. (The one that starts off with, "Oh, a new customer!")
  • A winged creature that resembles Quarble in the video game, Just Shapes & Beats.

    A winged creature resembling Quarble shows up in the video game, Just Shapes & Beats, in the "Flowers of Antimony (remix)" music track. The remix was made by The Messenger's music composer, Rainbowdragoneyes.[4]
  • During early development, the first iteration of Quarble was an amulet that The Shopkeeper gave you the first time you entered a shop. The amulet was charged, and if you died, it would take you back to your latest checkpoint, but get depleted in the process. It would recharge by collecting currency, but if you died before the amulet fully recharged, you would be sent back to the beginning of the level instead, because it didn't have enough magic to send you back to the checkpoint. However, this penalty was not an enjoyable gameplay mechanic, so the amulet was changed into a character, as a way to not only support the gameplay but also provide world-building.[5]
  • On the official website for The Messenger, attempting to visit a page that doesn't exist will result in an HTTP 404 error. Quarble will appear and offer 1 of 10 unique comments regarding the error, before prompting you to return to the homepage.[6]


For the main article, see Achievements.
Achievement 32.jpg
Eye Of The Shareholder
Meet Quarble


In-Game Sprites[]

Official Sprites[]

Cropped Sprites[]

Official Art[]


Characters in The Messenger
Characters NinjaRock LesieurNinja ElderDemon KingBarma'thazëlThe BowmanQuarbleThe ShopkeeperCage Monster and ParrotRuxxtinEmerald GolemPrimal FearMonkQuillbleColos & SusesThe ArtificerThe ProphetThe Iron HoodManfredSoldierButterfly MatriarchGuardian GodsClockwork ConciergePitouMusePhantomCowboyNecroClaustroAcroPyroAlektoroOctoPiDark MessengerVoodoo Mask
Groups NinjasDemonsGreed DemonsOrder of the Blue RobesPhobekinsMagic FirefliesSky GiantsVoodkins
Special Roles MessengersWestern HeroFallen