Video Game: American McGee's Grimm
"I wanna make the insufferable suffer!
Bring back the dark!
Bring back the gruesome!
Bring on the Grimm!"
Once upon a time, people told stories with dark danger lurking around every corner and important warnings. But as time passed, the stories got watered down into a pile of mushy stuff that would put Walt Disney
In this episodic platformer, your player character is Grimm, a dirty dwarf who hates how the fairy tales have turned out and decides to bring back their darker aspects... by running around the settings of said tales, his very presence
causing things to become as grim and gruesome as he is. The more things he darkens, the more powerful he becomes, allowing him to darken bigger objects and even people, until the whole setting and its inhabitants are grotesquely moulded to his satisfaction.
A Comic Book
adaptation by IDW Publishing
has Grimm, having successfully Grimmified the fairy tale world, moving on to various Comic Book
settings, starting with a Captain Ersatz
-filled superhero universe in "Crisis on Earth 57
Originally released as weekly episodes on GameTap from July 2008 to April 2009, the whole series was made available on Steam
in January 2014.
Provides Examples Of:
- All The Worlds Are A Stage: The final part of Snow White's story, where Grimm goes and collects everybody from every story he's turned grim.
- An Aesop: Grimm delivers one of these at the end of each darkened fairy tale, they range from normal, to Space Whale, to (unsurprisingly) Family Unfriendly.
- Bloody Hilarious: Most definitely prevalent.
- Broken Aesop: Stories like Cinderella or Rapunzel shouldn't be changed just because they have some unseemly parts to them...unless they had a happy ending to begin with, like A Christmas Carol.
- Call Back: Most levels will feature things you grimmified in the previous scene nearby the start of a level.
- Catch Phrase: Grimm's motto is, "Happily Ever After" ends NOW!"
- He also ends each episode with "May all our stories end so well! Until next time."
- Cats Are Mean: Grimm comes to this conclusion in Puss in Boots. He even considers getting one of his own.
- Christmas Episode: Grimm takes on "A Christmas Carol", then goes on to trash Santa's workshop and hijack his sleigh in order to grimmify all of Edwardian London.
- The Corrupter
- Crapsack World: Grimm's motivation is to transform the Mary Suetopia of the fairy tale world into this.
- Darker and Edgier: Tries to turn the stories into this
- Earn Your Happy Ending: This seems to be one of Grimm's beliefs. He believes that the "Happy Endings" in modern fairy tales are undeserved by the protagonists.
- The Elevator from Ipanema: From episode 7 onward, pausing the game results in a tinny muzak rendition of the opening theme. The style and tinniness make it clear that this trope is being invoked.
- Evil/Mean Brit: God help you if Grimm doesn't like the way your story goes...
- Eviler Than Thou: Grimm is this to several of the villains he encounters. At one point he even berates Satan for having a half-assed plan.
- Eye Scream
- Fridge Logic: In-universe. Grimm sometimes points out some of the less logical things in the stories he visits
- Fourth Wall Observer: Grimm speaks to the player and is aware that they are controlling him during gameplay. Makes some sense since he's also the narrator.
- Grimmification: Very literally here.
- Ground Pound: Butt Stomping is an important part of the gameplay. Not only does it allow you to darken things out of your reach, but also stun cleaners. You could squish them too, but you have to turn them dark first and by then they are harmless.
- Grotesque Cute: The game's visual aesthetic. Behold puppet Satan!
- Halloween Episode: Grimm turns "The Master Thief" tale into a cheesy B+ vampire movie.
- Hide Your Children: Averted. They seem to be the official Butt Monkies of the game.
- Hypocrite: Grimm often expresses a contempt for (characters he perceives to be) Karma Houdinis in spite of himself getting away with mass corruption, pollution, murder, and other grisly things within the story worlds.
- Infant Immortality: See Hide Your Children.
- Larynx Dissonance
- Lethal Lava Land: Grimm sometimes creates these
- Loony Fan: Grimm is a Death fanatic.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Averted. Grimm is much more filthy and cynical than most dwarves
- The Pigpen: Grimm
- Pragmatic Villainy: What Grimm thinks cats follow
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Typically the lowest form of cleaners and as such, are easily blackened.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Grimm likes to give these to abused heroines, such as Cinderella and The Girl Without Hands.
- Spoof Aesop: The ultimate result of much of Grimm's interference is such gems like "you can't get rid of cruelty in your own generation, so why bother" and "Felines are cruel and vicious creatures who only help others out of the knowledge that they'll come off better in the long term". To show just how bad the Sugar Bowl is before Grimm comes along, these actually make more sense then the previous ones.
- Shout-Out: To many films, such as The Terminator and, more obscurely, Metropolis.
- Snow Means Death : In the Godfather Death episode, Grimm's progress turns most of the areas into frozen wastelands.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Grimm is like this at times. Despite his preference for filth and crude humor, he has a surprisingly large and elegant vocabulary.
- Sugar Bowl: The stories before Grimm does his dirty work.
- Super Drowning Skills: Grimm's weakness is liquids of varying types, up to and including vomit.
- Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: In Episode 3 of Season 3, Grimm tackles the tale of Mulan. During the whole episode, he speaks in perfect Mandarin Chinese.
- The Computer Shall Taunt You: Subverted. Grimm will only berate you if you fall into a Bottomless Pit.
- Too Dumb to Live: What Grimm thinks of several characters
- Villain Protagonist: Grimm himself, though he might argue differently.
- Villain Song: The Intro song.
- Walking Wasteland: Grimm brings decay and crapulence to those stories he chooses to rewrite.
- Womb Level: As to be expected, one of the scenes in Little Red Riding hood takes place inside the Big Bad Wolf.