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Killing your own genre: Grim Fandango

Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
edited May 2007 in Games and Technology
Grim:

1. stern and admitting of no appeasement or compromise: grim determination; grim necessity.
2. of a sinister or ghastly character; repellent: a grim joke.

Fandango:

1. a lively Spanish or Spanish-American dance in triple time, performed by a man and woman playing castanets.

Tim Schafer is a genius. We must begin with this, because the man deserves our adoration for games like Psychonauts and Full Throttle. Within his relatively short but remarkably impressive catalogue is one gem that no gamer can ever pass up.

Gim_fandango_cover.jpg

In the same year as both Starcraft and Half-life, this title represented an old and outdated genre to many gamers. It was, as they say, in the outs. I dedicate this thread to the raw, compellingly emotional, epic tale that is Grim Fandango.

Main Characters and Story

So, who are you? You are Manuel Calavera, Grim Reaper. Manny, to his friends and superiors.

Manny_calavera.jpg
(Interesting note here, those of you who are fans of Ugly Betty might recognize Manny's voice. That's right, it's none other than Tony Plana, Betty's father on the show.)

Manny works for the DOD, Department of Death, in El Marrow as a sort of "travel agent" for the recently passed. They have to have some way of getting to the other side, as El Marrow and the land of the dead are mere holding places. Why can't Manny pass on himself? We don't know, and neither does he. Sins for which he must atone, wrongs he must right, some karmic retribution, something is preventing him from taking the trip himself.

But Manny is restless. He only ever gives out the low-end packages, usually a walking stick and a dangerous four year trip through the land of the dead, while his co-worker Domino doles out the comfortable four minute trips on the Number Nine express train like candy. You see, your actions while you're alive are tallied up into a sort of karmic bank roll. Good deeds grant you access to the more "expensive" packages, while being evil or malevolent only allows you the aforementioned walking cane. Domino's clients, no matter how seedy or baleful, always seem to get that express ticket.

Along comes our heroine, Manny's partner in this macabre dance, Mercedes Colomar, or Meche.

Untitled7.JPG

Dead from an appearently serious case of chicken pox, Manny finds his way to this perfect angel before Domino can sweep her up and add another Number Nine ticket to his resume. But there's a problem, as Manny can't seem to obtain the ticket that she rightly deserves. Dissuaded, she sets off on her own through the petrified forest in an attempt to make her way through the land of the dead.

It is here that the action really begins, and your four years in the land of the dead start to pick up. Manny is disturbed by Meche's misfortune, and wishes to find out why she could not get her ticket. In his search, he uncovers some seedy things about Domino and his boss, Don Copal. There's a detestable scheme afoot, depriving deserving individuals like Meche their due. Manny is fired for his snooping, so he sets off to find Meche and, in doing so, becomes an integral part of one of the greatest and most harrowing adventures of your death.

Supporting Cast

Glottis

glottis.gif

At first only a replacement driver for Manny when he goes to pick Meche up, they become fast friends and business partners. A giant orange mechanic, Glottis is an imposing sight, but he's a fierce friend and loyal companion, even if he can be a bit dim at times.

Sal Limones

Sal is the leader of a militant underground association working to uncover some of the black market dealings going on in the land of the dead. He aids both Manny and Meche several times during their adventure, and is an indespensable ally.

Hector Lemans

Every story has to have an antagonist, and this is ours. Hector is the ruthless, greedy mastermind behind the plot depriving poor souls like Meche of their rightful tickets. His scheme is deep and tangled, and it's Manny's job to unravel it.



So there you have it. For me, it's the greatest adventure game of all time. It essentially brought the end of its own genre, giving it a ceremonious and entertaining ending. Between the socialist bees and "sprouting," it's an excellent way to spend a few hours. I do suggest a single-sitting play through, because it's not terribly long, and you'd likely have a hard time stopping once you get started. I do hope this brought some of you down memory lane, as it's been far too long since the last time I played it. For those of you nascent to it, I can't implore you enough to find a copy and get to enjoying.

Wonder_Hippie on
«13

Posts

  • mystic_knightmystic_knight Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I've been thinking about playing this again, lately.

    Also, I wouldn't say this ended the Adventure game genre. The DS is bringing it back.

    mystic_knight on
  • WhippyWhippy Moderator, Admin Emeritus Admin Emeritus
    edited May 2007
    This is my single favorite PC game ever.

    I support this thread.

    Whippy on
  • DaybreakDaybreak Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I am sad to admit that I've never played this game before. What are my options for playing it now?

    Daybreak on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • BlackjackBlackjack Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    With bony hands I hold my partner
    On soulless feet we cross the floor
    The music stops as if to answer
    An empty knocking at the door
    It seems his skin was sweet as mango
    When last I held him to my breast
    But now we dance this grim fandango
    And will for years before we rest.


    This is pretty much the best game ever.

    Blackjack on
    camo_sig2.png

    3DS: 1607-3034-6970
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I have it, and I'm stuck. Can't get past the balloon guy.

    This reminds me why I play adventure games in moderation.
    (I'll beat Monkey Island 4 one day...)

    cj iwakura on
    wVEsyIc.png
  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Daybreak wrote: »
    I am sad to admit that I've never played this game before. What are my options for playing it now?

    Ebay, Amazon, or friends that own it. Really, do it now. Are you doing it yet?

    Wonder_Hippie on
  • Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    i own this, played it for 20 minutes one night, had to do something else, and never went back to it.

    i should really go back to it.

    Houk the Namebringer on
  • -SPI--SPI- Osaka, JapanRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Never mind favourite adventure games, this is one of my favourite games ever made period. It's just sogood. Great soundtrack, memorable characters and an awesome setting and storyline. And it didn't really seem to suffer as much as other lucas arts adventures from "combine absurd object x with silly object y in a completely illogical fashion" syndrome.
    The first time I got to the end of year one and it transitioned to year 2, I knew this was something special. A very "Whoah" moment.

    -SPI- on
  • SaraLunaSaraLuna Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I wish they'd release this on steam

    SaraLuna on
  • Smarmy LechSmarmy Lech Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Out of all games, this one is the best.

    Seriously.

    Smarmy Lech on
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  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Thread could use more Tim Schafer developer diary.

    http://www.grim-fandango.com/diaries.php
    Before you try to sell your game to other people, you have to understand it yourself. You have to know why it should be made. And these reasons aren't good enough:
    • "Uh, I don't know. I just want to make it."
    • "I should be able to make what ever I want. I'm God!"
    • "I have to do something or I'm going to get fired!"
    • "Because I'm tired of sitting in my office alone."
    • "I want to go to another wrap party."

    They all seem reasonable, but trust me, I've tried them all and they just don't work. There is only one reason that any higher power will accept as a valid reason to make a game:
    • "This game will be a huge, huge hit and it will bring so much money raining down upon this company that some people will be crushed by the enormous sacks of cash that are going to fall on us every day after this game's released, and, in fact, we are going to need to build a gigantic incinerator just to burn the extra bills that we just don't have room for or don't have time to count because every day the unstoppable flood of moola will just keep getting bigger and bigger until we are all down on our knees, begging, "Please, no more money! We just can't take any more money!"

    Orogogus on
  • Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    yeah, tim schafer is frigging awesome. his entries at the doublefine website are consistently weird and hilarious. and he fears the oscar meyer weinermobile, so he's alright in my book.

    Houk the Namebringer on
  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Orogogus wrote: »
    Thread could use more Tim Schafer developer diary.

    http://www.grim-fandango.com/diaries.php
    Before you try to sell your game to other people, you have to understand it yourself. You have to know why it should be made. And these reasons aren't good enough:
    • "Uh, I don't know. I just want to make it."
    • "I should be able to make what ever I want. I'm God!"
    • "I have to do something or I'm going to get fired!"
    • "Because I'm tired of sitting in my office alone."
    • "I want to go to another wrap party."

    They all seem reasonable, but trust me, I've tried them all and they just don't work. There is only one reason that any higher power will accept as a valid reason to make a game:
    • "This game will be a huge, huge hit and it will bring so much money raining down upon this company that some people will be crushed by the enormous sacks of cash that are going to fall on us every day after this game's released, and, in fact, we are going to need to build a gigantic incinerator just to burn the extra bills that we just don't have room for or don't have time to count because every day the unstoppable flood of moola will just keep getting bigger and bigger until we are all down on our knees, begging, "Please, no more money! We just can't take any more money!"

    Nice find. I love this man.

    Wonder_Hippie on
  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 2007
    This is Tim Schafer's work? Well, given Psychonauts on Steam...we might see this eventually.

    Sterica on
    YL9WnCY.png
  • darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Rorus Raz wrote: »
    This is Tim Schafer's work? Well, given Psychonauts on Steam...we might see this eventually.

    i hope to whichever deity is listening that we do. I would love to play this again.

    darleysam on
    forumsig.png
  • augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I love this game but I cheated a bunch because the plot is so very good and I am not very smart.

    august on
  • augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    darleysam wrote: »
    Rorus Raz wrote: »
    This is Tim Schafer's work? Well, given Psychonauts on Steam...we might see this eventually.

    i hope to whichever deity is listening that we do. I would love to play this again.

    Not likely unless LucasArts signs up with Steam. Which I doubt.

    august on
  • ZenitramZenitram Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Does this game work with XP? And can someone point me to an abandonware link (if it is), or perhaps a place selling it for cheap?

    Zenitram on
  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 2007
    It's available on Amazon for 20-30 bucks.

    Sterica on
    YL9WnCY.png
  • ZenitramZenitram Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    WTF, it was 20-30 bucks like 5 years ago.

    Zenitram on
  • augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Zenitram wrote: »
    WTF, it was 20-30 bucks like 5 years ago.

    Look: www.ebay.com.

    august on
  • DaybreakDaybreak Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Daybreak wrote: »
    I am sad to admit that I've never played this game before. What are my options for playing it now?

    Ebay, Amazon, or friends that own it. Really, do it now. Are you doing it yet?

    Dunno why I never thought of that. I'm on the page now, clicking the buttons.

    EDIT: wow is this game ever cheap in Australia... not so much here

    Daybreak on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    To anybody looking to play the game, I suggest that you install the latest patch or else you WILL GET STUCK! I downloaded the patch before playing, and I still couldn't get past that part. :| I even attempted to run CPUkiller.

    Couscous on
  • AiranAiran Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I played this when I was 12. I never did get what the fuck was going on in the big picture but I loved the game alot. I would fire it up everytime I returned from school until it was completed. I guess it was the fantastic voice acting and inspired characters - Glottis was just awesome.

    Airan on
    paDudSig.jpg
  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    titmouse wrote: »
    To anybody looking to play the game, I suggest that you install the latest patch or else you WILL GET STUCK! I downloaded the patch before playing, and I still couldn't get past that part. :| I even attempted to run CPUkiller.

    The part in the elevator? Yeah, that part's literally impossible with today's CPU's.

    Wonder_Hippie on
  • Dead Guy PerezDead Guy Perez Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Blackjack wrote: »
    With bony hands I hold my partner
    On soulless feet we cross the floor
    The music stops as if to answer
    An empty knocking at the door
    It seems his skin was sweet as mango
    When last I held him to my breast
    But now we dance this grim fandango
    And will for years before we rest.


    It shone, pale as bone
    As I stood there alone
    And I thought to myself how the moon,
    That night, cast its light
    On my heart's true delight,
    And the reef where her body was strewn.

    Dead Guy Perez on
  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Daybreak wrote: »
    I am sad to admit that I've never played this game before. What are my options for playing it now?

    Ebay, Amazon, or friends that own it. Really, do it now. Are you doing it yet?

    It shames me that I haven't played this game. I've done it, now I just have to hope it works on vista.

    Rook on
  • cemetery mancemetery man Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    So even if you patch it there's a good chance it will bork up on you?

    cemetery man on
  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    So even if you patch it there's a good chance it will bork up on you?

    No, the patch pretty much fixes it.

    Wonder_Hippie on
  • cemetery mancemetery man Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Oh ok cool. I've always wanted to check this out.

    cemetery man on
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I'll keep it vague for spoilers' sakes:

    *pull out a gun*

    "Put that away."

    *pull out your scythe*

    "That, too."

    *pull out the lil' chipper*

    "Put that ..heh heh *cracks up with laughter*...okay, you can keep that."

    emnmnme on
  • hambonehambone Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    It essentially brought the end of its own genre, giving it a ceremonious and entertaining ending.

    No it didn't.

    hambone on
    Just a bunch of intoxicated pigeons.
  • OrikaeshigitaeOrikaeshigitae Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    I love this game. My girlfriend painted Manny on my painting apron, and I got a lapel pin made from Manny in his tux. That's how much I love this game.

    Also, it didn't bring about the end of the genre. Right now, there are adventure games being developed for commercial sale, most notably A Vampyre Story, which is being developed by mainly ex-Lucasarts employees. (The good ones, the ones that worked on adventure games in the past.)

    Orikaeshigitae on
  • OrikaeshigitaeOrikaeshigitae Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    Also, if you are having troubles with Grim Fandango on XP, you can try Residual, one of the SCUMMVM team's side projects.

    It's an emulator designed to run GRIME engine games like GF and Monkey 4 - but it's far from complete. Only runs up to Year 3, IIRC.

    Orikaeshigitae on
  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    I love this game. My girlfriend painted Manny on my painting apron, and I got a lapel pin made from Manny in his tux. That's how much I love this game.

    Also, it didn't bring about the end of the genre. Right now, there are adventure games being developed for commercial sale, most notably A Vampyre Story, which is being developed by mainly ex-Lucasarts employees. (The good ones, the ones that worked on adventure games in the past.)

    I guess that's what Hambone was talking about (I hope he wasn't referring to the latter half of that sentence, at least), so I must find this game.

    [a few minutes later]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_vampyre_story

    Oh...

    I have no words to express how happy I am right now.

    Wonder_Hippie on
  • brynstarbrynstar Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    This and the Dig are the two Lucasarts adventures I haven't played. I play the Monkey Island games regularly (3 is my favorite, love the art sytle) and the Indiana Jones games were brilliant. I also really need to finish Full Throttle, which I stopped playing randomly for no apparent reason.

    A Vampyre story is something I've been craving for some time. The point and click adventure genre was always my favorite computer genre, ever since I first started playing games, and the Lucas games always had that little extra bit of magic to them. That humor,wit, and intelligence that's rare in games and makes them replayable classics.

    The new Sam and Max games have been sating my appetite quite well. I was ridiculously giddy when those were announced, and I subscribed to Gametap exclusively for them. But I must have more! I shall search out Grim Fandango post haste.

    brynstar on
    Xbox Live: Xander51
    PSN ID : Xander51 Steam ID : Xander51
  • RamiRami Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I don't wanna Bust-All that.

    I love this game.
    Run, you birds! It's Robert Frost!

    Rami on
    Steam / Xbox Live: WSDX NNID: W-S-D-X 3DS FC: 2637-9461-8549
    sig.gif
  • Simon MoonSimon Moon Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I think I must suffer from a variation of Deus Ex disease: someone on the internet mentions Grim Fandango, and I have to start a new playthrough. Daddy needs a new set of glass packs!

    Also, many thanks for mentioning A Vampyre Story. I tend to forget that people other than Benoit Sokal still make adventure games.

    Simon Moon on
    Steam: simon moon
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I found my jewel case for The Dig yesterday, but the disc wasn't inside. :(

    DarkPrimus on
  • OrikaeshigitaeOrikaeshigitae Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2007
    Simon Moon wrote: »
    I think I must suffer from a variation of Deus Ex disease: someone on the internet mentions Grim Fandango, and I have to start a new playthrough. Daddy needs a new set of glass packs!

    Also, many thanks for mentioning A Vampyre Story. I tend to forget that people other than Benoit Sokal still make adventure games.

    There's also Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth, but that's just an awesome fangame, not a commercial venture.

    Orikaeshigitae on
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