Emo kids demand equality!Emogame
is a series of free Flash
games made by Jason Oda between 2002 and 2004. All of them can be accessed and played here.
There are four games in the series:
- Emogame 1: A Get-Up Kidnapping! — The original, released in 2002. The emo band The Get-Up Kids gets kidnapped by Steven Tyler to be sodomized in his dungeon, and a group of emo rockers set out to save them, going on an adventure through suburbia, MTV Studios and Steven Tyler's dimension of evil that reveals the true origin of emo kids.
- Alkaline Trio vs. Hell — The three members of Alkaline Trio get run over while taking Rose McGowan home from a bar, and show up at the Pearly Gates. There, God tells then that, if they want a second chance at life, they have to go down into Hell and kill the Prince of Darkness himself, Skeletor. No, really — Skeletor, not Satan. In addition to serving as a standalone game, Alkaline Trio vs. Hell served as a preview of sorts for the upcoming second game in the series, released later in 2003.
- Emogame 2: The Epic Quest Continues — A year after the events of the original game, the cast of Friends have formed a band so that they could use the combined power of MTV and Subliminal Seduction to force a soulless, corporate materialism onto the world, and it's up to our band of plucky emo heroes to save the world from yuppie brainwashing.
- The Anti-Bush Game — Jason Oda created this game in the run-up to the 2004 election in response to what he saw as the corporate greed, warmongering, and religious fanaticism of the George W. Bush administration. It features Hulk Hogan, Mr T, and He-Man going on a righteous rampage to claim the five keys to activate Voltron and take down Dubya, ending with an endorsement of Bush's 2004 election rival, John Kerry. Sadly, it looks to have been taken down (perhaps as a result of Bush no longer being in office), as the link to it from the website is dead.
The games are 16-bit-style
, action-adventure side scrollers that parody both popular culture and the emo
music scene. Most of the humor is derived from its over-the-top portrayal of media figures and TV shows, as well as in-jokes for emo fans, shout outs
kids shows, and its willingness to cross every line of decency
to make the player laugh.
A third game in the series, titled Super Emogame III
, was announced in early 2005, and was originally planned for a 2006 release. Updates were released on occasion (including a demo), and it was planned to be on a music CD that would be available through the website. It has since entered the status of vaporware
, with Jason Oda putting a notice on his website saying that, with the game an incomplete mess with mostly outdated humor
, it will probably never see the light of day. The game's site used to be accessible here
for a look at What Could Have Been
, but sadly, it's down (and the Wayback Machine doesn't work with its Flash-heavy page).
Jason Oda is still making games, which can be viewed through his website
Tropes found in the series:
- A Love to Dismember: Chris Carrabba does this to Steven Tyler's severed head at the end of the first game.
- Abnormal Ammo:
- All of the characters throw seven-inch EPs at enemies.
- In the anti-Bush game, the protagonists throw American flag stars and the Tom Ridge Robeast has a gun that shoots duct tape.
- Action Girl: Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley) and Greta Cohn (formerly of Cursive).
- All American Face: Hulk Hogan himself, who's a secret character in one game and the lead protagonist of the anti-Bush game.
- Anti-Villain: Jimmy Eat World in the first game. The reason they had for removing their ovaries (just go with it) actually makes sense — they wanted to keep making good music without breaking up, even if it meant making emo mainstream. The player character's criticism of them basically boils down to "It's Popular, Now It Sucks" more than anything — he even grudgingly acknowledges that the music is still good, and that the only reason he doesn't like it is because of the airplay it gets. Of course, knowing this game, this was most likely intended as a parody of elitist music fans who think that music can't be both popular and good at the same time.
- Bait and Switch: The second game looks like it's going to recycle the plot of the first game, with Enrique Iglesias hacking into the TV set to announce that he has kidnapped the band Saves the Day to rape them. A few seconds later, the people watching reply:
Geoff: Dude, this is boring. Change it.
Yeah. I can't believe they canceled the Dawson's Creek
marathon for this lame-ass show.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: The first game features Fred Durst raping a donkey, while the second has him doing so with Puddle of Mudd to form a man-train.
- Big "Shut Up!": A Running Gag in the first two games.
- Bowdlerize: After the anti-Bush game got media attention, a scene with Voltron having sex with the Statue of Liberty was changed to Voltron knocking the statue off its pedestal and taking its place, a scene with Ronald Reagan mocking his Alzheimers was altered to remove Reagan, and the Mandy Moore fingerbang minigame was removed.
- Brown Note: Jeremy Egnik plays music from The Promise Ring's godawful Very Emergency album in order to prove his claim about emo guys having ovaries.
- Butt Monkey: Chris Carrabba in the first game, being The Chick of the seven man group. Brett Detar in the sequel as the tagalong attention-seeking guy nobody wants in the group.
- The Cameo: Many, including the characters from G.I. Joe, Enid and Rebecca from Ghost World, Pete Wrigley from Pete and Pete, and a truly colossal number of emo musicians (most of whom are playable characters).
- Christian Rock: Creed's tenuous relationship with the genre is parodied in the first game. Before fighting them, Scott Stapp asks you if you think it's cool to be a Christian. If you reply yes, then he goes on about how Creed is totally a Christian band. If you reply no, then he denies that Creed is Christian, claiming that "With Arms Wide Open" is about a stripper.
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: At the start of the first game, Chris threatens to "skull-fuck [Steven Tyler] with [his] huge cock". And then he actually does it. And then he marries Steven Tyler's severed head, which is still stuck to his 62-pixel-long dick.
- Do Not Adjust Your Set: In the first game, Steven Tyler announces his kidnapping and rape of The Get-Up Kids to the heroes by hacking their TV set. In the second game, Enrique Iglesias tries the same thing, only for them to change the channel.
- Drop the Hammer: Toxic Cheney Robeast uses a spiked mace.
- Emo: Of course. Parodied throughout, with the "emo quiz" in the first game and The Reveal as to what makes guys emo.
- Evil Diva: The Friends Theory in the second game is an entire band of them.
- Genre Throwback: The final levels of the two main games (especially the second one) were throwbacks to old-school Metroidvania games. Most of the third game was going to follow the Metroidvania format, along with a few segments that homaged Contra and The Legend of Zelda.
- G.I. Joe: In Alkaline Trio vs. Hell, you team up with them.
- God: Appears in the form of Bob Sagat in Alkaline Trio vs. Hell.
- Hospital Hottie: At the beginning of the first game, one of the nurses asks Atom when the two of them can make sweet love.
- Hot Coffee Minigame: It involves Mandy Moore.
- Hummer Dinger: The second game featured a boss fight against Tim Allen driving one of these, complete with a mounted machine gun and an Eagleland Type 2 rant from Allen.
- Hypocritical Humor: The series' anti-corporate stance can come off as this now that Jason Oda is spending most of his time making advergames.
- Improbable Weapon User: In the anti-Bush game, the Almighty Ashcroft Robeast uses a cross on a chain as a flail.
- Lampshade Hanging
- At the start of the first game, Atom says that they should drive to the Salvation Army store to meet Jeremy Egnik, as it will be quicker that way. Chris Simpson remarks that they should instead walk vicariously through a yuppie town, a High School and a Hot Topic to get there, as that would make a much better game.
- When Geoff, Travis and Matt are flipping through channels and being confronted by two Evil Plans, they ask if somebody is trying to force some kind of epic quest on them.
- Like a Badass out of Hell: The entire plot of Alkaline Trio vs. Hell
- Metroidvania: The final levels of the two main series games, and judging by what was made, most of the third game.
- Mind-Control Eyes: Tim has these after watching the Friends Theory music video in the second game.
- Monumental Damage: The Mall of America in the second game.
- MTV: The entire second level of the first game takes place in MTV Studios in Times Square, with the Boss Battle being fought on the TRL set. The climax of the second game's first level, meanwhile, is set at the Video Music Awards.
- New-Age Retro Hippie: Given a Take That in the second game. The player character gives a speech to a pair of these, slamming them for using the imagery of the '60s counterculture as an excuse to smoke weed, sell stuff and not shower.
- Non-Standard Game Over / The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: At the end of the second game, you get the opportunity to rename emo. If you choose a word that would insult the genre (e.g. "shit", "gay", "stupid"), you get a black screen with "game over" in small text.
- Outrun the Fireball: The end of the second game's second level, where the Mall of America is being blown up.
- Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: A gag that is used multiple times throughout the series.
- The Reveal: Why are emo guys emo? Because they have ovaries. These ovaries work to prevent emo from becoming mainstream by causing good emo bands to either break up or start releasing crappy albums (usually around the time of their third album). Jimmy Eat World threw off this balance by having their ovaries removed, allowing them to stay good and successful long enough to become mainstream.
- Running Gag:
- Everybody constantly tells Chris Carrabba (in the first game) and Brett Detar (in the sequel) to "SHUT UP!"
- The Mandy Moore fingerbang minigame, which gets progressively more complexnote as the series goes on. Concept art for the third game featured Mandy as a succubus, meaning that the gag likely would have continued.
- Small Name, Big Ego: In the second game, Brett Detar is one of these, tagging along with the group until they can admit that they wish they were as cool as he is.
- Take That: The games sling tons of them at every target in late-'90s / early-2000s popular culture, including American Idol, MTV, Hot Topic, point-and-laugh talk shows, SUVs, pop music, reality TV and, of course, emo. The Anti-Bush Game is also a pair of giant middle fingers raised at the right wing of American politics.
- Take That Me: In Emogame II, if you complete the The Adventures of Pete & Pete quiz, Jason Oda himself makes an appearance and offers you a blowjob. He states he deserves it for putting so many gay jokes in the game. Then gives you Hulk Hogan as a secret character.
- Unintentional Period Piece: Playing these games is like stepping back in time to 2002-04, what with all the pop culture references, '80s kid show nostalgia, hatred of George W. Bush, emo treading the line between "underground" and "mainstream", and MTV still, at the very least, basing its reputation around music videos.
- Vaporware: Super Emogame III.
- Villain Exit Stage Left: Dave Matthews pulls this in both games.
- What Could Have Been: Some of the concept art for the third game showed an ultraviolent Grand Theft Auto parody (Grand Theft Omaha — the most violenterest level eva!), levels that homaged Zelda and Contra, the main characters battling in a post-apocalyptic world, and a boss fight against Ashlee Simpson, who is mutated into a giant spider.
- What the Hell, Player?: In the first game, if you engage in the Hot Coffee Minigame with an underage Mandy Moore, you get arrested for statutory rape (represented by your currently-selected character dying).
- Who Writes This Crap?!: Shortly before facing Creed in their shit helicopter, the player character remarks:
God, this plot is getting worse and worse.
- Womb Level: The second game has one of these, which literally takes place inside Anna Nicole Smith's womb.
- Writing Around Trademarks / No Celebrities Were Harmed: Gloriously averted, with TV shows, brand names and celebrities being called out and skewered by name. It's a wonder that Jason Oda not only hasn't been sued, but is now being hired to make advergames for many of these companies.