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April 22, 2022

"Rated M" Month: The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

Well, Easter has come and gone, and I’m still in “M-Rated" Month… Gotta find some way to combine the two. I might have just the right game to talk about.

Quite possibly THE most famous roguelike
video game of all time.
How do I approach such a massive product… well, might as well start with the beginning. The Binding of Isaac is a game that was developed by Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl, and released in its first version as a Flash game on September 28th, 2011. The game’s popularity quickly rose, leading to an expansion titled “Wrath of the Lamb”. However, the version most people are familiar with is the remake, developed with help from the game studio Nicalis on a new engine, dubbed “The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth” and released to Steam on November 4th, 2014 (this is the version I’m covering today). Multiple content packs were added afterwards, such as Afterbirth, Afterbirth+ and, last year, Repentance. Since there is a LOT of ground to cover, I'll focus on Rebirth and only mention notable differences with later DLCs whenever necessary.

A brief introduction

Though the game is fairly well-known, in case someone reading this doesn’t know, I’ll explain: In short, The Binding of Isaac is a roguelike, meaning that you explore dungeons that are procedurally generated. A run you go through is defined by its "seed", a sequence of letters and numbers that’s randomized at the start of the game. In the case of The Binding of Isaac, it’s a sequence of eight digits and excludes the characters 5, I, O and U, meaning that there are (3281,099,511,627,776 possible dungeons. Any more and I would have needed scientific notation. The odds of playing through the same dungeon layout twice (without tools, hacks, or by generating a precise seed by yourself) are so low, it’s practically impossible.

April 15, 2022

"Rated M" Month: South Park: The Stick of Truth (Part 3)

Part 1Part 2Part 3

The fucked-up conclusion to this fucked-up game!

Forging Alliances

Babies: Surprisingly effective weapons.
After the previous night’s discovery of Clyde’s massive fortress, the members of Kupa Keep regroup at the Elven Kingdom in Kyle’s backyard and realize that they need even more help than what they’ve got. They quickly task the New Kid, who has an incredible talent for making friends, with the crucial mission of recruiting… the girls. With that, the last two buddies are unlocked: Kyle, who uses his anger to defeat his enemies and sometimes kicks the goddamn baby at them, and Cartman, whose ass has power rivaling Douchebag’s.

The Sparkle Council... I guess.
It starts out easy enough, by helping one girl get her Justin Bieber doll back from a bully. Douchebag is then brought to the girls’ meeting room, where the girls are trying to figure out whether one of the girls, Monica, is spreading a rumor about Allie going to the abortion clinic. You’re tasked with posing as Bebe’s boyfriend from overseas to catch Monica as a cheater. Speaking of, damn, the girls of South Park sure talk a lot about figuring out who’s a “two-faced bitch”, huh? If that’s what social politics as a girl is like, then fuck me, am I glad I’ve always been a cis dude! Girls, girls of South Park. The quicker you figure out you’re all two-faced bitches, the quicker you’ll learn to live in real harmony with each other. Following that mission…

Unplanned Parenthood

Wendy Testaburger (whom I always thought had a name that made her predestined to become a food critic) then asks Douchebag to sneak into the abortion clinic and take pictures of records in order to prove Allie didn’t go there. First, the boy has to be disguised as a girl.

And hey, if the New Kid discovers a new gender
identity through this, more power to them!

Nice infiltration tactic, but the long burning
sword kinda gives it away.
Then, the (remember: 9 years old) kid has to go into the clinic as a client. Nobody in the place even bats an eye at this. Douchebag undergoes the “procedure”, breaking the abortion machine with his abnormally powerful sphincter (…here goes another sentence I never thought I’d write), and then while the doctor is out of the room to fetch tools to repair it, disguises as a nurse using the clothing found lying about. In that new disguise, we can sneak into the records room and snap photos of the records. That’s when we stumble on Randy Marsh again, who’s been doing his own investigation and also ended up at the clinic. The government’s agents are here as well, trying to figure out whether the Nazi Zombie Virus has spread, and they quickly quarantine the place upon picking up signals.

Man, this plot is just one big trauma after
the next. The New Kid will be lucky if he
leaves the adventure with his sanity intact.
To escape, the New Kid has to shrink using the newly-acquired Gnome Dust and fights Nazi zombie rats and underpants gnomes (or makes noise to have the government soldiers kill them for him). He re-emerges in an operation room, where Randy hides, also disguised as a woman ready for a procedure. And when agents walk in, you actually have to perform an “abortion” on Randy (massive fucking air quotes on that one). That mini-game is shit, too, and very easy to fail, snagging and ripping one of Randy’s testicles off and the agents thinking the two are zombies and shooting, killing the kid and causing a game over. It’s one of the few parts of the game that was also censored in some parts of the world. ‘Cause apparently, the Mr. Slave summon attack was fine in comparison.

No, no, no no no no no! Jesus Christ,
the jokes in this freaking game...

What, and I cannot stress this enough,
the actual fuck?
With that done, we’re not killed, but the agents run off as zombies are in the place. How? Well, the alien goo infected fetuses. You are literally going to fight nazi zombie fetuses. Your LARP allies show up to help, though! It’s a puzzle to progress through the next section, using all of the Kid’s powers to escape. But even then, you still have to fight the boss… a giant nazi zombie fetus. Let’s… let’s just get this boss fight over with, alright? Clever fight at least; you have to kill the umbilical cord first or it will heal the main boss to full health while inflicting damage to the party.

With that done, we leave the clinic. Can’t ever go back, either, so you better have grabbed that Chinpokomon.

Heading North / O Canada

Back to the girls’ headquarters, we find out that the abortion records are written in French, and could be translated in a place that speaks it, somewhere in the mystical Northern Empire of the Canadas. Oh, they’re gonna reference Canadian French? Hey, quick aside, you know what is South Park’s greatest missed opportunity? They reference Quebec a couple times, but for a show this vulgar, they never, never, NEVER once used our colorful, blasphemous curse words! Ostie de crisse de câlisse de sacrament de viarge de ciboire de tabarnak! See? They have options! Stone, Parker, do something with these! Just once, it’s all I ask!

I wish the game would let us do much worse to
those people.

Cartman provides Douchebag with a (stolen) passport, it’s just missing a photo that we get from the Photo Dojo. The employee there tries to take a picture of Douchebag naked, but is stopped short by the actual photograph, whom had been beaten. In the ensuing fight, we get to kick the pedophile in the nutsack – I call that a good day! With this, we can go to Canada.

Well that's an unexpected style change...
The border patrol Mountie lets the player through. Canada is rendered in bird’s view 16-bit graphics, and you need to exchange your American money for Canadian cash to buy anything from the shops. Or sell random shit, you’ll get Canadian bucks for it. We somehow get embroiled in the bizarre and inexplicable politics of the Northern cousins – a mix of democracy and monarchy with some religion thrown in.

Sounds about right. And from the point of view of me, a Canadian, it’s hilarious.

If I can avoid killing one guy, I'll try!
The New Kid has to combat dire wild animals – they’re like normal wild animals, but DIRE – on this quest for someone who understands the French language. The only one who could read it, the Minister of Montreal, was imprisoned by the Prince in the Caverns of Quebec. To be allowed to see him, we are asked to kill the Bishop of Banff and brings back proof to the Prince – either the Bishop’s testicles, or (if we spare him) dire pig testicles instead. Straight-up Snow White bullcrap, I tell you. But the Prince doesn’t honor his promise, so instead, we find Terence and Philip in Vancouver and learn the last fart ability in the game: The Nagasaki. Please tell me I don’t need to explain that name. This last fart can destroy massive boulders, and Douchebag uses it to free the Minister, finally getting that goddamn document translated.

The Nagasaki, a wall-breaking fart, is presented
by Canadian superstars Terence, Philip, and
a blatant nod to The Matrix.

Back in South Park, the girls get their answers, thank Douchebag, and promise to join the war.

Beat up Clyde

Everyone regroups in front of Clyde’s house: Humans, elves, goths, girls, kindergartners, the Federation (that’s just Kevin the Star Trek nerd who didn’t even trade his Spock ears for elf ears, the loser)... They all burst into Clyde’s house and attack the backyard. The final dungeon is… well, about as impressive as a giant treehouse can be.

How did Clyde (and his dad) build this
in only a few days?

Well, one is easy to tell apart from the rest.
The real Craig among the other four, though...
As you climb up the floors of the treehouse, you encounter normal kids, but also Nazi Zombies, further proof that Clyde is actually using the damn alien goo. That’s beyond the realm of the LARP! All of your abilities come into use in some way, usually to defeat more opponents or open gates in the way. We soon encounter Craig, the Level 14 Thief, who can throw up to three Nazi Zombie cows with bomb bandoliers at the party. He joins the fight as well, playing a duplication trick where four more kids show up dressed exactly like him, and you have to figure out which one is the real Craig. A very clever battle within both the game’s system and their pretend game’s rules.

Past this, we encounter Randy again, all dressed up for the LARP. He says that those who claim to be Taco Bell, who said they wanted to nuke the town, were looking for someone to shove the nuke into. Why was it necessary to shove the nuke into someone, that’s never explained. But since they couldn’t get their hands on the records of South Park’s women at the abortion clinic, they went for the second option…


…Mister Slave. And now you have to disarm it by shrinking, going up Mister Slave’s ass, and practicing an “abortion” on the bomb (hence the mini-game from earlier).

Screw you guys, I’m going home! And if you do control the New Kid to leave the room, the bomb instantly explodes in a mushroom cloud. The end, roll credits!

Final thou-

So, does that mean that Mr. Slave shoved a...
up his... God damn it.
That can happen, but… sigh… if you do want to finish the game, you have to do that dungeon. Was it really fucking necessary? Augh! Let’s skip as much of this as possible: There are normal enemies here, mostly bacteria – so yes, if you’ve held on to it so far today, you can use the Mr. Slave summon while within Mr. Slave’s own ass. It includes a fight against some sort of anal spirit that’s a sparrow for some reason… Fuck me, the shit this game makes me write down… And for some reason, there are two government guys up there as well, guarding the area of the thermonuclear device.

No, I don’t know HOW they're there. I don’t have the answer, I don’t want the fucking answer.

Ah, for fuck's fucking sake. Fuck!

Douchebag plays the abortion mini-game on the bomb to disarm it, which somehow works; then, he’s spat out by Mr. Slave and returns to his normal size. Oh, the spirits in there? I’d rather not talk about it.

The last time I saw glitching like this that bad,
it was in Disneyland Adventures.
Okay, beating up Clyde. We get to the Throne Room and Clyde gloats over his upcoming victory. I had a few issues with them prior to this moment, such as times where the animation got delayed badly from the spoken lines, but this is where the cutscenes started seriously shitting the bed on my computer. Douchebag lept glitching in and out of existence as though the game couldn’t remember what the fuck he looked like at that moment. And it happens to the other main characters too! It’s even worse just before the final boss. Oh, Clyde? He’s not the final boss. Neither is the dead guy he awakens from his casket thanks to the alien goo. Who? It’s Chef.

We have to fight a Nazi Zombie Chef. Would be gut-wrenching, heartbreaking even for the kids. And he’s a tough boss, with loads of HP and strong moves. When you struggle out of his strongest move, he regains consciousness just long enough to refuse fighting, only for Clyde to shoot more alien goo at him and revert him to a Nazi Zombie, dammit. Eventually, Chef is defeated and the corpse is burned and exploded, deader than dead. Clyde gives up the game and is kicked out of his tower by Cartman, who then promotes our character to King Douchebag for his heroism – but it’s not over…

Oh look, another mashing sequence. At least,
when you struggle out, Chef is horrified at
himself and does nothing for a turn.

Oh, and this cutscene? Several minutes long,
and unskippable, probably just so it can annoy
the player.
The Big Bad Government Guy busts in with soldiers and they try to arrest… the Dragonborn? He reveals that the new kid’s name actually is Dovahkiin – see, there’s a reason why I mentioned that stuff about Skyrim at the start! The kid was sought by the government not for his farts, but for his nigh-supernatural talent at making friends online and in real life. Tying the Friends collection quest into the plot, I see… And yet, it works. BBGG explains his agency tracking down supernatural occurrences. Upon picking up the Stick of Truth, wondering why Douchebag cares about it so much, and being explained its purpose, BBGG mistakes the kids’ make-believe fantasy for a reality and, certain that the normal wooden branch genuinely CONTROLS THE ENTIRE FUCKING UNIVERSE, goes “Fuck the government!” and strips, with pubic hair and saggy dick and balls out for all to see.

Betrayal from Within

Oh hey, I haven't had to censor anything
on this blog in a while.

He offers Douchebag to join him in “ruling the universe”, which we decline… but Princess Kenny accepts. Morgan Freeman even shows up to explain some silly lore about Kenny’s role in the LARP and the character’s intentions, which had been to steal the Stick the entire time. Kenny lodges the Stick in his parka, then after a first lost battle, willingly drinks some alien goo, becoming a Nazi Zombie Princess cosplayer and the final boss of the story.

I've never cheered at a baby getting kicked before. Ike
hits hard enough to make Kenny drop the vial of alien
goo, preventing the zombie form from regaining strength.
And if you know anything about his superpower, then you can imagine that this fight will be unconventional. Anytime you take Kenny’s HP down to zero, he’ll just revive. You can’t kill Kenny! Instead, you have to play the battle in parts. Butters, Jimmy, Stan and Kyle all have a phase where they’re necessary to stop one of Kenny’s special moves, preventing the boss from using that trick again. After all four have had their turn, Cartman will grab Kenny from behind and ask Douchebag to break the oath by farting on Kenny’s balls. (I tried kicking them; that didn’t work.) One fart is all it takes, though, and the broken oath results in not just the battle ending, but somehow the entire Nazi Zombie plague negated and the alien goo’s effects cancelled.

....Dammit, I can't even censor that one.

Seeing all the trouble their fight over it has caused, the boys throw the Stick of Truth into Stark’s Pond. Oh, they’ll keep playing their game, they’ll find new stakes, is all. As for Douchebag? He stuns everyone when he speaks, a swift “Screw you guys, I’m going home” and he leaves. Oh, he’ll play again the next day, if you decide to finish the other quests. And, that’s all!

Final thoughts

Sorry it took me so long to get here, there was just so much to say about the plot. Well, might as well start with it. Fans of South Park who haven’t played the game yet, if there are any out there, will love this one. It feels like an extended episode of the show, if not a new movie. The setting is peppered with dozens, if not hundreds, of references to the show’s canon, with most of the townsfolks appearing, nods to several different episodes throughout (that billboard near the Town Hall is the best example), and even references in the enemies, attacks, and other settings of the game. As one of so many examples, Cartman’s final move lets him electrocute enemies through the chip in his head, which he activates by cursing. And yes, the tone is most definitely here as well, with jokes as offensive, stupid, gross and (sometimes) satirical as the ones in the show. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re at the right place. Parker and Stone did it: A game that represents their oeuvre as accurately as they desired.

The entire game is animated really well using the popular South Park style. Now, if only there were n't some key cutscenes that glitched badly, like the scenes just before the final boss(es), or the meeting held by the BBGG about the Nazi Zombies in the temporary facility...

Ah... yep, still very satisfying.
Gameplay is fairly solid. The game overall felt rather easy to me on Normal difficulty. First, in battle. The basics are easy to get a hold of, but there are enough intricacies to keep battles fresh and interesting. The many status effects, as an example, or tricks later enemies use to protect themselves. The moves are all pretty clever and can be upgraded/improved as you level up, and there are several perks to unlock based on the number of Facebook friends you’ve made (but you can’t unlock them all, so choose wisely). The level cap at 15 means you’ll hit the max level before you beat the story, and the huge number of pieces of equipment and weapons (and “strap-ons” to equip onto them) means that you have a great level of freedom in building your character. There are difficulty options, so you can boost up the difficulty if Normal doesn’t feel challenging enough; and enemies scale up along to your level, so the game never gets “breeze through everything in seconds” easy either.

Friends of all ages and parts of society and-
Holy crap, you can even friend the Christmas Critters?
Those are supposed to be imaginary!

Several puzzle sections are pretty clever.
Now, on the exploration side of things: The game attempts to be like a Metroidvania of sorts, adapted to an RPG, with areas that are inaccessible until you get the required ability (Buddy Command, Shoot, Probe or Gnome Dust). In small situations, it’s a quick way to a new Facebook friend or a Chinpokomon. Several of these also allow Douchebag to avoid battles by taking the enemies out, using elements of the surroundings. Several important scenes turn into exploration puzzles where you have to figure out how to progress, using your abilities and farts. The downside is that as you progress, a lot of collection things are really, really, really fucking easy to miss (costume sets, Facebook friends and even Chinpokomon). And some areas are no longer accessible once you’re done with them (the UFO and the abortion clinic being the biggest examples), so there are collection quests or achievements that are nigh-impossible to get unless you know exactly what not to miss.

Yes, most of the raunchiest gags from the show
make an appearance in some way, shape or
form here.
Oh, very quick: I hate the attacks and sequences that involve heavy button-mashing, and I also hate the abortion mini-game (not because of its content, but because it's poorly-explained and easy to fail as a result – and why was it banned in some countries? The BBGG's old wrinkly dick went by just fine!).

The music is also awesome, from the fantasy-inspired tracks to the other epic songs. On a more comical note, all over the place you can hear actual songs from the show (such as the “Christmastime” song during the abortion mini-games… both of them).

Amazing game, if you love South Park you should love it. That said, another game, “The Fractured But Whole” (heh) came out and plays out very differently to “The Stick of Truth”, with people preferring one to the other for various reasons. I will probably cover that one someday.

Well, that’s a big piece off my plate – tune in next Friday for the last M-rated review of the month.

April 11, 2022

"Rated M" Month: South Park: The Stick of Truth (Part 2)

Part 1Part 2Part 3

Once more, a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get to it!

Gain new allies

Goth kids doing what they do best.
That is, nothing, mope, and pray for death.
Yes, a weird thing happened that night, but for South Park that’s nothing. At the site of the UFO crash, a government building has been set up and the media is reporting the construction of a new… er… Taco Bell. Yeah, my ass! Due to the commotion, the school is closed. Then, as if shit couldn’t get worse, Cartman walks in uninvited to say that the Stick of Truth is gone, and that once again, the elves must’ve taken it! He tasks the New Kid with recruiting a new faction to the Humans – specifically, the Goth kids who spend their time moping and smoking in the school’s backyard.

Once again, a new ability (the probe in the Kid’s ass, allowing him to teleport over short distances around machines it can interface with) opens new paths, so you can explore South Park and find new stuff. There’s a lot that I didn’t cover in Part 1, and I figured that I would discuss a part of combat that I didn’t mention yet: The summons. Each found while visiting the town and completing quests, each summon can be brought during a battle and immediately end the encounter. There are two caveats: You can use each summon only once per day, and never against a boss. There are four of these.

He's shooting at kids? Jesus Christ!
...sorry, Mr. Christ.
Jesus: Unlocked at the end of the “Finding Jesus” quest, where you play hide and seek with the holy figure in what I think is one of the most wholesome things this franchise has ever done. He will shoot a machine gun at all the enemies till they’ve died or fled. Jesus is the best.

Mr. Kim: The owner of Shitty- I mean, City Wok will happily help you with his Chinese War Dance, once you’ve helped him defeat the Mongolians that have taken over his restaurant and the next-door Tower of Peace, forcing him to sell crappy “Mongolian Beef”.

....The less I say about this one the better.
Mr. Hankey: The talking literal piece of shit in a Christmas hat is found in the sewers, and requests that you find all of his kids, lost or trapped all over the sewers area. For your troubles, you get friended by the entire shit family on social media, as well as the ability to summon Mr. Hankey, who brings forth a literal storm of feces onto the enemies. Man, the number of fucked-up things this game is making me write about…

Mister Slave: Last but not least, for retrieving a package for him, we unlock a whip to summon Mister Slave in battle. His attack… er… is, well… no matter whether the enemy is a wolf, an adult, a monster or even a goddamn child, he… he…

…I’d rather not say it. But if you know the character, then you fucking KNOW what he does. Fuck’s sake, the gay community does NOT need jokes like this!

Oh, right, while we’re at it – a big deal is made of making friends on social media, and there’s an in-game reason for that: At every few friends made, you unlock a new perk that will help in combat. So, the more friends you make, the more powerful you become! How’s that for the power of friendship?


Anyway, back to our main program. The Goths will join, but only if the New Kid dresses as a goth and brings them dark roast coffee and smokes. The smokes are stolen from sixth graders by Jimbo’s gun shop and the clothes are bought from a hobo near the U-Stor-It. The roast is purchased at Tweek Bros. Coffee…

I'm sorry, I became buddies with Butters!
And then Douchebag is jumped by elves, who knock him out and take him to the elves’ base, in Kyle Broflovski’s backyard. There's also Jimmy the bard and Stan the fighter. I was hoping we’d see the rest of the main gang earlier. Kyle claims that Cartman is the one hiding the Stick to fuel the feud between humans and elves, and… yeah, I can believe it. We ARE talking about a kid who ground two parents into a curry and fed them to their teenage son.

That bloody thing being thrown at the New
Kid? Yep, it's exactly what you think it is.
You’re given the option to rally the Goths to the Elves instead, and are given Jimmy and Stan as allies to use in battle. Jimmy is support, buffing your team and debuffing the enemies, while Stan is a basic ranger/fighter type of character. Both have their own quests: With Stan, you fight the She-Ogre (actually Stan’s sister Shelley, who uses a wide array of menstrual blood-based attacks… yep). You can go with Jimmy to get a new magic flute at the ranch North of town, and that involves fighting some weird green cows that yell in German. Back at the school, Douchebag dresses in Goth gear...

PTA Problems

So... does that make Randy some sort of
martial Farts teacher then?
…But that’s not enough! The Goths now want the player to crash the PTA meeting about what happened the previous night, put up a “Fuck the conformists” sign, and take a picture. So we head over to the community center. Predictably, the adults have bought the claims that it’s a new Taco Bell being built. Only Randy, contrary to his usual record-breaking stupidity, thinks that something shadier is going on. He tasks the New Kid with finding more, after which he’ll help with the sign and picture. He even teaches a new fart, the Sneaky Squeaker, which allows us to send the sound and smell of our farts elsewhere to distract people.

Douchebag uses this to sneak into the facility, even using it to solve puzzles in order to kill heavily-armed guards if necessary. “I thought I heard a fart over there, or maybe it was Nicki Minaj’s latest single!” (Actual joke from the game, by the way.) “Let me check here over that puddle with live wires dipping into it, with the machine just behind that truck where children could be hiding to turn it on…” BZAAAAP.

Quick, somebody get all these zombies together
for a special representation of that musical
from Mel Brooks' The Producers!
Sneaking in, we quickly find a meeting held by Big Bad Government Guy (BBGG) and several agents, who report on the situation. The toxic alien waste, when it comes into contact with organic Earth material, turns them into… Nazi zombies. Okay, the zombie part I’m cool with, alien goo doing that shit? Sure, why not. Nazis, though? I don’t know how the fuck that can happen. It’s now the third game in a row that I review involving Nazis in some way. Hey, I’m always up for killing more of those. We even see someone get infected: He does the salute, magically sprouts an armband with the swastika, and even his words turns into excerpts from Hitler’s speeches. That game must not have been received too warmly in Germany, what with their strong anti-Nazism laws… Laws that all of the countries on the American continent should also adopt, because we should have done that a long fucking time ago.

Oh good, they're ALL quoting the angry
hateful single-ball man.
(Look it up, Hitler had only one testicle.)
The BBGG decides that it’s best to obliterate all of South Park rather than risk letting the infection spread too far. After the agents leave, Douchebag steals the meeting’s recording… but the few captured Nazi zombies go free, forcing the kids to fight for their lives. Kicking a fucking Nazi in the balls? That hits the sweet spot, I feel accomplished as a human being. From this point on, there can be Nazi zombies on random screens on the town, keeping a player on their toes.

Douchebag returns to the community center, where he plays the recording, to the shock of the parents present – who now believe that Taco Bell wants to blow up South Park so they can build a city-sized restaurant. With this, Randy thanks the Kid by letting him complete the Goths’ quest, and we can report to them and recruit them to our side.

…But which side is that? We have reasonable doubt over who has the Stick; either the Elves did take it, or Cartman hid it in his school desk to have an excuse to antagonize Stan and Kyle. And from the show, we know how much of an asshole Cartman is. So, how do the developers make this a difficult choice? I love what they did here. Cartman has been nothing but friendly to the New Kid up to that point, almost uncharacteristically so; but, more importantly, Butters, the nicest kid, is with Cartman…

…I’m so sorry Butters, you’re a sweet kid, but I’m not siding with Cartman. (However, you can, and the next quest changes based on which faction you choose.)


Just because it’s worth talking about: In this side-quest, you’re tasked by Al Gore with setting up three ManBearPig sensors around town and a defibrillator in the sewers. Once you do, Al Gore considers you his best friend on Facebook, so he starts spamming your feed with pointless shit – forcing you to unfriend him... by beating the crap out of him. He starts to act like you’re ManBearPig and attacks with two bodyguards and his boring exposé on climate change, guaranteed to put your team to sleep. I mentioned before that enemies scale with your level; well, Al Gore is a tough boss no matter the situation, partly because of his bodyguards, but fighting him late enough will make him insanely hard to defeat. Maybe harder than anything else in the game.

ManBearPig? More like GoreBearPig.
He ain't gonna get more support doing this.
The questline is not over, though, as a final message has Al Gore claim that ManBear Pig (actually him in a complex armored disguise) is attacking the church. This fight is a little easier, but Gore has better defenses against most of your special moves – he wears a mask to protect him from your fart-based attacks, can wear a helmet to protect himself, and heals from status ailments. Anyway, once Gore is down this time, it’s for good.

Man, with the reveal in newer seasons of the show that ManBearPig IS real, IS causing climate disturbances, and IS a monster straight from the pits of Hell, this entire sequence of jokes reads different.

Attack the School

Nice set-up, would be a shame if someone blew
it up with a fart...
Choosing a faction means you lose your allies from the other faction (as Butters and Kenny are from Kupa Keep, Jimmy and Stan from the Drow Elves). The path is still overall similar. Your faction attacks the school, which the opposing group has taken over. A massive battle involving most of the boys from South Park ensues; Douchebag sneaks in through the kitchen, then makes his way through the halls, destroying barricades and other shit with his farts. You will need every ability here, and there’s a greater focus on puzzle-solving to navigate the maze and avoid some fights. Your friends from the other team will attempt to dissuade the New Kid.

I can electrocute Nazis? Yes please.
Even then, this is all a moot point, as the LARP session continues in the school’s basement, and we find out that the nasty alien goo is now leaking out of the sewers, turning even the ginger hall monitors into Nazi zombies. …This probably makes the Top 10 of the weirdest sentences I ever wrote for this blog. It’s the point where the kids start seeing the real threat seep into their game of make-believe. Or, in short: Shit got real. Yet, the session continues as normal.

Yeah, I haven't really studied fart physics,
but I doubt that's how it works.
Now comes a first boss fight against another ally: Butters if you betrayed the humans, or Stan if you stayed with them. You mean I have to beat up Butters too? Aw, I feel bad now… Kicking Cartman’s ass afterwards better be worth it. Speaking of, that comes soon afterwards, in a clash for the ages (with the game giving you another option to change sides). Cartman lights up a Dragonshout fart of his own and the New Kid has to fart back to repel the flames. If you fight Kyle instead, he achieves the same effect by using a leaf blower. The end result is the same: You have to mash a key or button to win, and to be honest, I kinda hate all the attacks and sequences that require mashing in this game.

After the leader of the opposing faction is defeated, everyone realizes that neither could have hidden the Stick of Truth in their desk; they’re tabletops. One of them, however, leads them to Clyde’s locker, where he left a laptop with a video in which he has the Stick… and huge barrels of the alien goo. The gang hurries to Clyde’s backyard, where now stands a gigantic treehouse built like a castle, occupied by Clyde, the Vamps, and Craig. Well, shit.

...Okay, that's impressive. We are so fucked.

However, it’s too late to attack – everyone has to go home for the night.

Defeat the Underpants Gnomes

….the fuck kind of continuation is that?

Thanks, I know. I saw the treehouse.
Literally the picture just before this one.
Anyway, Douchebag goes home to sleep, but is awoken in the middle of the night by the Underpants Gnomes, who sing as they come in through the mouse hole to steal his briefs. The Gnomes are outmatched in the ensuing fight, and thus have their Warlock shrink him down to their size. In spite of that, they’re defeated again and flee, with Douchebag chasing after them into the wall space, where he must fight rats.

The chase takes our character to his parents’ room, where his mom and dad discuss the nebulous reasons for their moving to South Park before getting down to have loud, moany sex. The primal scene serves as the backdrop for the Kid’s next fight with the Gnomes, too similar to the previous one to really matter otherwise. But hey, gotta show more of that crudely-drawn porn.

Is the censoring necessary?
I dunno... I'm playing it safe.

I am so, so sorry for ending the article
with this image.
There’s just one problem: Douchebag is still tiny. The only solution is to fight the Warlock, which first involves chasing him all the way onto the bed the parents are currently rutting on. The fight takes place underneath the two-backed beast, hanging tits and moving flesh and all. To his credit, the Warlock is a tough boss. He’s not the only threat, though; as the fight goes, on some turns, both combatants will have to dodge the dad’s set of swinging testicles. I… Holy fuck, this isn’t even the 10th weirdest thing I wrote for this review. Was that necessary? For Trey and Parker, the answer to that is likely “Yes, and we haven’t gone far enough! It should have been the dick you avoid during an accidental pullout from the dad!” You know they could’ve done it, too. After the Mister Slave summon, it wouldn’t have surprised me one bit.

Anyway, the New Kid beats up the Warlock and, for his troubles, gets a pouch of Gnome Dust allowing him to shrink and grow back at will. Back to his room, after returning to his normal size, he goes to bed, probably traumatized by the last two days. Oh, don’t worry… shit can always get worse…

As we’ll see in Part 3.