Video Game: Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden
A hero will dunk.
Warning: The article you are about to read is canon.
The Great B-Ball Purge of 2041, a day so painful to some that it is referred to only as the "B-Ballnacht". Thousands upon thousands of the world's greatest ballers were massacred in a swath of violence and sports bigotry as the game was outlawed worldwide. The reason: the Chaos Dunk, a jam so powerful its mere existence threatens the balance of chaos and order. Among the few ballers and fans that survived the basketball genocide was Charles Barkley, the man capable of performing the "Verboten Jam"...
A freeware RPG
by Tales of Game's (sic).
It's Twenty Minutes into the Future in a world
where basketball is Serious Business
. The sport has been outlawed and the world's ballers have been hunted down and killed after a forbidden technique known as a Chaos Dunk killed millions.
Really, the whole game is one big moment of hilarity from start to finish, from the underground colony of furries to the ruins of Proto-Neo-New York
and beyond. It has to be seen to be believed. Oh, and did we mention that the events of Space Jam
are canonical to the game's timeline?
The full title is Tales of Game's Presents Chef Boyardee's Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa
. And remember: If you can't slam with the best, then jam with the rest.
A sequel, titled The Magical Realms of Tír na nÓg: Escape from Necron 7 - Revenge of Cuchulainn: The Official Game of the Movie - Chapter 2 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa
(colloquially called ''Barkley 2: Curse of Cuchulainn
'') has been confirmed, with a Kickstarter
that has successfully met its goal. Taking place in 666X, the game tells the story of the amnesiac cyborg X114JAM9 as he searches for the Cyberdwarf in his quest to to learn who he is.
This game uses some of these tropes:
- After the End: Specifically, After The End of The Revolutionary War.
- Affectionate Parody: This game is an incredible parody of 16-bit JRPGs. There's also a much less affectionate parody of the RPG Maker community and certain Internet subcultures in general. One of the truckpump rants (exactly one) comes from Something Awful.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer Cesspool X is an example of this where "gatdam animal people" live
- Action Commands: The attacks in the game are made stronger by well-timed button presses of various sorts, similar to Paper Mario.
- All in a Row In the game your party is visible in a row.
- Alternate History: The American Revolution wasn't fought for America, but Jickleberg. The aftermath of the war is the Cyberpocalypse.
- Always Check Behind the Chair: Lampshaded with the trash cans in the Spalding building.
- Antidote Effect: Averted; healing items work by percents instead of fixed numbers. You'll still want to buy the all-purpose Standard Status Effect cure instead of the individual status medicine, though.
- Anticlimax Boss: As part of the game's constant jabs at video games in general, several bosses are quite a bit weaker than they appear:
- Most of the opponents in the B-Ball Dimension Arena Tournament, except for the final battle with Kevin Garnett. Special mention goes to the Flame Delmon, who blows himself up early into the fight. Barkley comments afterwards that it was tough.
- The Ball Spider that guards Shimmerglobe, which is just a normal enemy from an early dungeon, yet is treated as a boss with the boss music playing.
- Awesome but Impractical: The Holy Dunk and the Trickgun Assault spells are so expensive you'll almost never have a worthy chance to use them, but damn, they are so awesome!
- Anti-Grinding: Wandering enemies don't respawn, except in one area that gets visited twice.
- Big Bad: Like many JRPGs, you don't see him or hear about it at all until you've beaten everything else.
- Bigger on the Inside: Dikembe Mutombo's entire tomb is inside Cyberdwarf's house in Cesspool X.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: There are a lot of fake "bad translation" elements; "Gun" is always pluralized as "gun's", and people who use "gun's" are "gun'sbrasters", because they can "brast" things out of their "gun's".
- Bonus Boss: There's several optional bosses you can fight, some of them including the Ghastly Darklord and Kevin Garnett.
- Boring but Practical: Charles' Double Team is one of the first moves you have access to, isn't too flashy, but is easily one of the most damaging moves he has in his arsenal as well as one of the least expensive to use, especially after acquiring the Infinity Plus One B-Ball. The same applies to Hoopz as well, as his Gun's Slay inflicts way more damage than Trickgun Assault, and costs a third as much.
- Buffy Speak: "Quit Vidcon? Yeah/Nah"
- But Thou Must: Lampshaded at least once, when an NPC tells you he could tell you were a friend and if you'd answered "foe" he wouldn't have believed you.
- Another exchange: "Will you promise to kill Raffleson?" "Nah" "Saying no is simply not an option!" (Despite that you hardly know who Raffleson or the guy telling you to kill him are).
- Camp: How else can you describe a game featuring Charles Barkley, his gunslinger son, a cyborg dwarf with basketball leather for skin, and a sword-wielding descendant of LeBron James with Elemental Powers fighting a monster consisting of Bill Cosby's head on a ghost body?note
- Chiptune: The game's theme is the Space Jam theme backed by one of these.
- Clean Cut/Everything Fades/Stuff Blowing Up: Among the animations that randomly play when an enemy dies.
- Continuity Nod: The protagonist of Barkley 2, who doesn't remember who he is, calls himself X114JAM9, after an error message. In the original, Vinceborg cites error X114JAM9 in association with him not remembering his purpose.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: The people of the world worship an entity known as Clispaeth, who is actually based on Crispus Attucks, the first man killed in the Boston Massacre. In this world however, Clispaeth Ryuji Atucks was a freedom fighter who led the rebellion against the British Empire.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Chaos Dunk.
- Dating Sim: Cyberdwarf's quest for "Applebottoms" in the B-Ball Dimension.
- Depending on the Artist: Within the same game, many characters are depicted as looking radically different in their different sprites. Between Balthios's portrait, overworld, and battle sprites, his hair goes from long and white to short and black to short and white, respectively. Also, Hoopz's overworld sprites look nothing like how he does in-battle and in his portrait. Put simply, Cyberdwarf is the only character who has any degree of correlation between sprites and picture. Invoked from the start, where Hoopz turns into the "generic basketball player" sprite and back when showing Barkley his skills. All of this is due to the game stealing most of its art assets from other games.
- Developer's Room: It's located in scenic Hell.
- Disc One Nuke: The Snail Zauber can be gained very early on from a sidequest in Cesspool X. It's a bit weaker than the Blood Zauber (The strongest you find in the last dungeon) but considering it has a +20 guard bonus and the projectile travels slower (so you can mash the button for more damage), it's overall the best Zauber to use during the whole game.
- Dual Wielding: Eventually Charles learns to dual-wield basketballs by double-dribbling, allowing his attacks to hit twice and therefore doubling his power.
- Duel Boss: The final battle with Michael Jordan has him and Barkley fight one-on-one.
- Easter Egg: Jordan's theme is Sweet Georgia Brown, just in a minor key and played slowly on a synthesizer.
- Elves VS Dwarves: Sludge Elvesnote and Dwarves don't get along.
- Enemy Summoner: Dread Refs can summon other Dread Refs to their side and can be quite a pain early on in the game.
- Enemy Without: Shadow Barkley.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Shadow Barkley's true form is... Charles's head on Diablo from Primal Rage.
- Face-Heel Turn: Vinceborg, once he regains his memory and remembers his objective to kill Hoopz.
- Fallen Hero: Michael Jordan plays this role, especially given that Space Jam is considered canon.
- Fantastic Racism: Genies are like blue Nazis when it comes to hating duergars.
"I was rubbed from a lamp many years ago and my mission is to steal civil rights from Duergars. Perhaps you could call this racism, but that is one of the main goals of all genies."
"This is merely my own personal philosophy, but I believe we should display our intolerance for Duergars on every level."
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Features dwarves, the undead, elemental Magic Knights, aliens, genies, and superpowered basketball players, among other things. In near-future America without explanation, no less.
- Fan Sequel: To Space Jam, and (naturally) to the obscure SNES/Genesis game Barkley, Shut Up and Jam!. It is unknown whether or not the Genesis-exclusive Barkley, Shut Up and Jam! 2 is also considered canon.
- Fight Woosh: About 20+ different wooshes, chosen at random when transitioning to the battle screen.
- Flat "What.": Barkley delivers one upon seeing the "reward" for turning in the F.I.N.A.L.G.U.N. to Mark. You get a completely worthless sticker.
- Fun with Acronyms: B.L.O.O.D.M.O.S.E.S., the Statue of L.I.B.E.R.T.Y., ~F.A.T.E~, and the legendary F.I.N.A.L.G.U.N. Mind, if any of these actually stand for anything, it's never elaborated upon.
- Future Food Is Artificial: In the post-cyberpocalypse, mankind will live off of Protein Paste and Hi-C Ecto Coolers.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: After getting the Sword of Plot Advancement, Barkley claims he can "sink a three-pointer from 30 yards away", but his accuracy doesn't seem to improve at all from it.
- Genre Shift: Barkley 2, unlike the previous game, is an open-world Action RPG.
- Global Currency: "Neo-Shekels" are the currency of choice in the post-cyberpocalypse.
- Grammar Nazi: The pump makes a long rant about people who write "Vidcon" as "Vid con".
- Gratuitous German: Zaubers ("charm"s), Das Fructose Ungeheuer (also known as the Diabestie), and Verboten Jam.
- Gratuitous Japanese:
- Hacking Minigame: Subverted. Hinted to in the vending machine, but you never get any "science points" to attempt it.
- Harsher in Hindsight: Cosby as Ghost Dad.
- Healing Hands: Wilford Brimley can absorb the diabetes of others, at the price of aggravating his own. By the time you meet him, he has to stay attached to a giant insulin machine to survive, and it can no longer keep up the sheer rate of insulin he needs.
- Heroic Sacrifice: It's heavily implied that Charles doesn't survive the Chaos Dunk he performs at the end of the game.
- Idiot Ball: In Cuchulainn's Tomb, the four party members are tested for their resolve, one after the other. The three deuteragonists all have obvious character flaws and weaknesses, whereas Barkley does not have any obvious vices that can be exploited. When it's his turn to be tested, he immediately forgets about his mission and gives in to temptation:
"Gold... Incan Gold..."
- Involuntary Suicide Mechanism: This seems to kick in on Vinceborg near the end... or he killed himself on purpose.
- Irrelevant Sidequest: Several, such as rewriting a poem and negotiating a labor contract, much to Barkley's annoyance.
- Infinity+1 Sword:
- Shimmerglobe, the ultimate b-ball. After obtaining both the Hell B-Ball and Shimmerglobe, Barkley will Dual Wield them.
- There's also the Shrekmono, which can only be gained by siding with the Duergar in the Chup Mines.
- For Hoopz, the F.I.N.A.L.G.U.N. is the best weapon for him. Considering that you can beat up the Square-Enix Goya representative for his money and giving it to Mark gives you an absolutely worthless prize, there's not much of a reason to not give it to Hoopz.
- Inn Security: If you rest in the nearby inn after defeating Ghost Dad, he will come to you and thank you for helping him rest in peace.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon: Zaubers are not a typo for sabers! It's never explained what a zauber really is, but if we go by the game and the sprites, it's a Cool Sword that gives you Elemental Powers, even snail powers!
- Informed Ability: Barkley can supposedly perform the Verboten Jam and the Chaos Dunk, but never actually does it during gameplay. Justified, given what the Chaos Dunk does; he simply refuses to use it unless absolutely necessary, which he does to finish off Shadow Barkley at the end of the game. On that note, Shadow Barkley does use the Verboten Jam against you when you fight him, not having Barkley's qualms about its use. It is a One-Hit Kill on anyone it hits regardless of equipment or stats, making it actually as powerful as you are told.
- Joke Item: The weapons' sticker and library card are funny but still useless rewards.
- Jump Scare: Parodied. At one point in the Sugar Caves, an image of a sugar shaker will flash on the screen, horror-movie style.
- Lampshade Hanging:
- After completing a dungeon where touching the walls is dangerous:
"Both of these keys broke when I put them in the door! And the sugar counter's gone!"
"Thankfully we won't need those items anymore."
- At one point you need to insert crystals into pedestals to open a door in a tomb. Barkley says there's no way that's right, there must be a key somewhere. Balthios comments that weird things like this are designed to drive intruders insane.
- There are many lampshades, in one instance, there is a boulder blocking a cave Balthios says you could use a pipe and rock to push it out out of the way. Barkley mentions it's extremely convenient that those are the exact same items he got earlier for no reason.
- Lame Pun Reaction: You get trapped into a house and then the room start to flood with sugar gas, but thankfully the mechanism stalls and the gas stops.
Barkley: Looks like his plan ran out of "gas".
Cyber Dwarf: ...Let's just find a way out.
- Vinceborg has "Eternity" during both fights.
- Jordan has his own in the form of Sweet Georgia Brown, which is lampshaded repeatedly before the battle.
- Lethal Joke Item: The joke potato summons (completely out of nowhere) a golden potato with arms and legs that shoots the enemy with a machinegun for massive damage, but can only be used once.
- Locomotive Level: The Underground Railroad, if you choose to take it.
- Long Title:
- The first game: "Tales of Game's presents Chef Boyardee's Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa".
- The sequel: "The Magical Realms of Tír na nÓg: Escape from Necron 7 - Revenge of Cuchulainn: The Official Game of the Movie - Chapter 2 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa".
- Lost Forever: Subverted - most of the secret items that the game says you didn't find... don't actually exist.
- Magic Plastic Surgery: Dr. Allard is able to transform human furries into the species of their desire.
- Magitech: Manufacted Slamicite. It has a less harmful counterpart, Jamicite, but for your purposes you need the strong stuff.
- Mega Corp.: Square-Enix-Goya.
- Mons: The B-Ball Ranch, where you can raise B-Balls. (Subverted - they don't actually do anything.)
- Monster Compendium: The Animayor's bestiary, although most of the entries are never actually encountered.
- Mood Whiplash: Despite being a thoroughly ridiculous game, there are some touching moments that come out of nowhere, such as Barkley remembering what life was like before the cyberpocalypse, briefly showing the player the same area as it was in a better time through Barkley's memories. It's the only time the player ever sees this.
- The Morlocks: The furries of Cesspool X are a parody of the concept. They all live under the sewers due to being hated by "norms", though by all intents and purposes they're largely harmless individuals who wish to live out their lives in peace.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: The Ultimate Hellbane, Ghastly Darklord.
- New Game+: Victorian Steampunk mode is unlocked after you finish the game.
- New Neo City: Neo New York, the city where the game takes place.
- Never Found the Body: The fates of Barkley and Balthios are unknown after Barkley performs another Chaos Dunk at the end of the game.
- No Fair Cheating: If you quit and restart the game after losing money gambling, the gambler will come up to you, take all your money, and auto-save the game.
- Nonindicative Name: The soundtrack's metadata is full of vaguely obscene, badly typed nonsense, most of which has nothing to do with the music at all (with a few exceptions like 'Hilarious Georgia Brown', 'jesus christ the guy from deep purple sang this', and the simply titled 'sad').
- Non Standard Gameover: Hell, which you enter if you die after refusing to give money to beggars enough times. Also, the normal game over screen does not make any sense at all. You get an image of Barkley crying a single, shoddily animated tear with the caption "Kurt Cobain" over it.
- No Points for Neutrality: You get absolutely nothing but disappointment from both sides if you organize a deal that favors neither duergars or genies in the Chup Mines.
- Old Save Bonus: As a result of a Kickstarter stretch goal being reached, saves from the first game can be brought over to the second.
- One-Winged Angel: The final boss's second form. It's Charles Barkley's head on a tyrannosaur, specifically Diablo from Primal Rage. Also, the first form is a literal example... which is a reskin of the final form of Kefka.
- Only Sane Man: Barkley frequently comes off as this, and when he's doing something insane, Balthios takes the role.
- Our Delmons Are Different: They differ from demons because they can use the Junction System, while demons get a "Level 2 Imp Summon".
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Except for the cyberdwarf variety, which comes from outer space.
- The Overworld: The game parodies the Overworld Not to Scale type, with an overworld that only becomes accessible right before the end of the game, and only contains two locations, the place where you need to go, and the city where you've spent the entire game so far.
- Overworld Not to Scale: Parodied - It appears just before the last dungeon, and there's only two locations on it.
- One-Winged Angel: Hilariously parodied with the last boss. First, you fight Shadow Barkley, a ONE WINGED giant Barkley while the awesome Space Jam theme plays. And later he reveals his final form, the T-Rex Barkley!... Which is just a small dinosaur with Barkley face photoshopped into it, and red horns drawn in MS Paint. It's very lame compared to the first form.
- Parody: Of JRPGs.
- Planet Heck: If you refuse to give money to all of the beggars, then you get sent to Hell after your next Total Party Kill.)
- Press X to Not Die: To be fair, you get one mistake. Not so fair: this is almost the first interactivity the game has. Expect to play through the chase sequence a few times.
- Product Placement: Parodied; the game's most potent healing item is a Burger King Chicken Fry. Not an entire carton, just one. It cures death, maxes out health and magic, and cures all status effects, for the whole party. The second-strongest healing item is the greasy "dew" left behind by a Chicken Fry.
- There are two things a Duergar can't resist. One is rubies. The other is a Dunkaroo.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Courtesy of Dikembe Mutombo. BOOM! SHAKA! LAKA!
- Real Person Fic: The game is about Charles Barkley in a "post-cyberpocalyptic" world where basketball has been outlawed.
- Ragnarok-Proofing: The Spalding factory is mostly untouched years after being abandoned due to the Chaos Dunk.
- Red Herring: Barkley touches the Incan gold in Cuchulainn's Tomb... and it is never mentioned again. Perhaps we'll see the results in Chapter 2.
- Depending on your choices, two NPCs will swear revenge on you in the latter half of the game, only to never be heard from again. In fact, generally the game makes up and doesn't follow through on plot threads and gameplay elements so often it's easier to count the number of sidequests or arcs that don't leave hanging threads.
- Running Gag:
- Diabetes is used not only as a Standard Status Effect corresponding to poison, it's also mentioned off-hand several times and becomes a major plot point later on.
- Balthios's terrible taste in poetry.
- Reginald using a different name in every conversation that talks about him.
- RPGs Equal Combat: There's a "basketball game" that consists of Barkley throwing basketballs at an enemy that shoots back at him with a gun.
- Sdrawkcab Alias: Yelmirb is Wilfred Brimley.
- Serious Business:
- Basketball is a forbidden art, as mastery of the game allows a person to perform the highly destructive "Verboten Jams" and the "Chaos Dunk" techniques.
- There's an island that has a cult of those who abhor sugar and diabetes in all of its forms.
- Shout-Out: Most of them are ironic. See here for the full list.
- Silliness Switch: In addition to the "Al Bhed" language option and the game's general silliness, upon beating the game you unlock Victorian Steampunk mode (seemingly inspired by Barkley's old nickname of "Sir Charles"), which replaces all character names and portraits with ones appropriate to the wrong setting.
- Smurfing: This game takes the amount of words or phrases that can have "b-ball" appended to them Up to Eleven.
- So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Averted—any departing character's equipment is given back to you.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The battle theme to the Duel Boss is Sweet Georgia Brown.
- Space Station: Necron 5, the final dungeon, is a space station.
- Sprint Meter: Marked by a giant sneaker in the corner of the screen. It only appears when you dash.
- Standard Status Effects: With very non-standard names, including Bamboozled, Fouled (Stun), Diabetes (Poison) and Glaucoma (Blind).
- Stealth Pun: Hoopz Barkley uses a gun. In Neo New York, Hoopz shoot YOU!
- Stylistic Suck: This game is surprisingly well done, especially the gameplay and music. But there is so much intentional sillyness, it's so bad it's perfect.
- Super Move Portrait Attack: When Charles uses the Chaos Dunk.
- Surreal Humour: It's easier to find examples of humour that isn't in this game.
- Sword of Plot Advancement: The Hell B-Ball, which allows Barkley to dual-wield, upping his attack power immensely.
- Tagline: You don't need a reason to help people. Are you ready to slamjam? Also, "If you can't slam with the best, then jam with the rest" and "This game is canon".
- Take That: Among other things, it mocks Fan Dumb, “Stop Having Fun” Guys, Furry Fandom, and the Otaku subculture.
- Take Your Time: There's no urgency to find the diabetes cure for Hoopz.
- Theme Music Power-Up: The first phase of the final boss fight is a Title Theme Drop, which is a remix of the theme from Space Jam. A riff can also be heard during Charles's flashback to the first Chaos Dunk.
- Too Awesome to Use: The Golden Potato, acquired from the optional Ghastly Darklord boss, which does enormous damage to enemies but can only be used once.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Duergars rely entirely on Dunkaroos and chemical potions for sustenance.
- Troll: The game itself is trolling the player all the time, there are many situations that look good at first but are just there to trick you.
- If you lose at the casino and save scum Hundley takes all your money, but it's impossible to make profit winning since Hundley doesn't have money to begin with (and you can't play again).
- Some sidequests have terrible or useless rewards compared to others.
- You can knot a rope for over 100 times but you can't take it or do anything with it, just losing your time.
- The b-ball ranch lets you feed and train a b-ball, so you probably get the b-ball as weapon right? No you don't. It's useless.
- The "asperger" status effect is a lie. The character just moves randomly but can fight with no problems. Experienced players would think that is the same as confusion and try to heal it fast as possible.
- Unexpected Genre Change: Most of the game plays as an RPG with some action elements. Liberty Island is an Adventure Game, although it still uses the same engine. In true adventure game style, Barkley will describe all items you find, which the other characters remark upon.
- Useless Item: Alcohol. Sure it does cure Asperger's Syndrome, but the only thing that the status does in the first place is make your character move awkwardly.
- Useless Useful Spell: Played straight and averted. Used straight with Barkley's Holy Dunk costs 3.5 times more BP than Double Team and it's actually weaker, there is no viable reason to use it at all. Averted with status and debuffs, since most bosses aren't immune to diabetes and some can buff themselves, these kind of spells are extremely useful.
- Videogame Geography: The world locations doesn't make any senste, even by apocalypse standards. You start at Neo New York. Then you go down the catacombs. Then you go down the sewers, then you go down to Proto Neo New York. Then you take a ferry/boat to the liberty island. Then you cross a forest in the Fantasy World Map and take a spaceship and fly to space. Wait a minute...WHAT?!
- Violation of Common Sense: How do you get the best reward from the poetry-composing sidequest? Choose the stilted, clinical and overall horrible suggestions that Vinceborg gives you.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: While the first few bosses off the game are fairly easy, the Ghost Dad is a major kick in the nuts considering how early in the game you face him. He has a ridiculous amount of VP, he can power himself up with Ghost Muscle, he can reduce your attack power, and he can inflict multiple random status ailments on the entire party with Ghostly Curse. That last attack is particularly brutal because there isn't a whole lot you can do about the multiple status ailments that early in the game. And he is very liberal with it. If you allow the fight to go on too long, your characters will become weakened so much that they will do very little damage to him.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: At the end of Cuchulainn's tomb, Barkley unintentionally frees it. You are told before to not let it free or awful things would happen, but nothing happens. You would expect it to appear as a boss at the end of the dungeon but it doesn't, no one ever even mentions it again.
- Cuchullain appears in the sequel's name, but considering that is only mentioned in the credit's and the Long Title most people would see it as a joke.
- We Can Rule Together: Attempted by Shadow Barkley in the finale. Doing so causes a Non Standard Game Over.
- You All Look Familiar: The duergars and genies, but otherwise averted: Most background characters have unique sprites, albeit ripped from other videogames.
- Young Gun: Hoopz Barkley, whose character class is the "Gun'sbraster"; predictably, he uses "gun's".
- Your Heart's Desire: Used with the Cuchullain, when it tries to trick the players for freedom.
- Balthios sees many stands with zauber books, be he quicly realizes it's a trick and leave them.
- Cyber Dwarf sees his old normal-skinned self, but after some internal struggle he stands proud with his basketball skin and go on.
- Hoopz doesn't have any desire at all. He even mentions that is pretty boring.
- Barkley sees... a pile of gold. Not only that desire is extremely out of character, but he also falls for the trap!
- Zonk: Giving the F.I.N.A.L.G.U.N. to the guy in Proto Neo New York gets you... a sticker.
Next time get all four library cards.