"This is your old barrio, right, Johnson? Then you can be my tour guide."
"Me? But I quit the whole demon thing ages ago... and really, my memory's absolute rubbish."
"Oh, I'm sure it will come back to you in no time. Relax amigo. This is going to be an adventure. Our very own Road Movie. And the best part is... you never know what's waiting around the bend."
—Garcia Hotspur and Johnson.
Shadows Of The Damned is a game released in June of 2011 from the minds of Shinji Mikami and Suda 51 (with a soundtrack composed by Akira Yamaoka), and is a comedic horror game with a camera similar toResident Evil 4. Expect an ample amount of Refuge in Audacity, gore humor, and haminess.The game details the tale of Garcia Hotspur, Demon Hunter as he attempts to save his girlfriend Paula from the Lord of Demons: Fleming. It's a good thing he's got Johnson, a floating skull and former demon who is both his sidekick and his Swiss-Army Weapon.Despite Shadows of the Damned's pedigree, it bombed, due to a near-complete lack of marketing and its extremely short playtime. A single run through the game is about six hours long and there's no New Game option to replay with all your upgrades in place. Some sources have claimed that Shadows's sales on its opening week were as low as seven thousand.Needs Wiki Magic Love.
Becoming Part of the Image: a Non-Standard Game Over has Garcia getting knocked into a billboard by a giant demon, with his face sticking through the other side in an embarrassing position (like from between the buttocks of a demoness call-girl).
Big Eater: George, The Man Who Didn't Have His Fill. A harmonica player who, the more he ate, the thinner and hungrier he got. At one point he tried to eat his own harmonica, and ultimately died when he tried to eat himself.
It's implied, from both a comment Johnson made, and an event during the boss fight, that he had an undiagnosed tapeworm that was ravaging his intestinal tract and slowly killing him.
Bizarro World: The Underworld has many things that are the opposite of the living world. Booze heals you rather than poisoning your liver. Light is a deadly combustible, sealed away in barrels. Instead of gun control, they practice tooth control (since teeth can be used as weapons).
Book Dumb: During the storybook scenes, Garcia has trouble reading whenever he's the narrator, sometimes stumbling with words and reading slow. Compared to him, Johnson's a much more eloquent narrator. Then again, this might be explained by Garcia being Mexican, which means he's not reading in his native tongue.
Chekhov's Gun: The story that Garcia tells about the phone call he got during dinner with Paula. He doesn't answer it because Paula told him not to. However, at the end of the game, they get a phone call during dinner and Garcia answers it. It's Fleming, and it basically starts everything over again.
Before the first boss fight, Johnson tells you a few things about VIP demons, including their biggest privilege: they get to keep their genitals. The groin area is an exploitable for the boss when he takes his giant form.
Color Wash: There's a couple of predominant colors in the game that make the Underworld look just plain wrong. Johnson's default flame color is a strange pale orange, and a sickly pale green lighting permeates many areas.
Darkness Equals Death: You can't spend more than a few seconds in a dark zone without losing your health. Some sections of the game require you to sprint through long areas of darkness, and your "grace period" is only briefly restored by collecting pickups as you run.
Dull Surprise: Invoked; During the siege at the abandoned shack, Garcia sarcastically quips "My god, how do we stop them?" in his most deadpan, disinterested tone of voice, obviously more annoyed than frightened. Also a shout out to "MY GOD! HOW DO YOU STOP IT?!" from Evil Dead 2.
Eyes Do Not Belong There: Fleming's got three pairs of eyes; his skull is elongated and it looks like somebody just stacked three faces on top of each other.
Face-Heel Turn: Just as it seems the game's over, Paula reveals that she's gone completely insane from both Fleming's tortures and her own anger over Garcia failing to save her from any of them, and becomes the Final Boss.
Fake Ultimate Hero: Shortly into the game, Garcia meets an incredibly tough-looking giant man with a grenade launcher that fires like a machine gun (certainly a deliberate inaccuracy). The guy recommends that Garcia stays out of his way and later he exposits a bunch of his sorry backstory. However, he's sadly totally ineffectual against Stinky Crow.
Freud Was Right: Invoked long and hard. Both Johnson and Fleming can barely go three minutes without making a penis innuendo, Fleming because he thinks it's intimidating and Johnson because he's the comic relief.
Gainax Ending: The fight with Paula and Johnson's rap came right out of nowhere.
Giving Up On Logic: After Johnson explains that hearts help you spend longer amounts of time in the darkness, Garcia just decides not to even ask how that makes sense.
Groin Attack: During the first real boss fight, if you run out of weak points on the front to slow the boss down, you can aim for the groin area to hurt him.
Half-Human Hybrid: Christopher the demon, who functions as your shopkeeper (even though he looks all-demon). To hammer home the fact that he's a good demon, he's usually surrounded by pretty flowers and wears a bunch of lamps on his back to drive away light-sensitive demons.
I Have Your Wife: Flemming kills Paula and then kidnaps her. (She keeps getting better).
Fleming: She has a lot of dying to do. And coming back to life, and dying some more...
I'm a Humanitarian: Fleming tells Garcia at the end of the game that he has human patties on his hamburgers, implying that this is also the "special recipe" that Paula used for their dinner. Fortunately, Garcia doesn't appear to have taken a bite of his yet.
Improbable Aiming Skills: Paula, according to Garcia. He reminisces about the time where they were at a shooting range in a carnival, where after Garcia managed to hit a bulls-eye, Paula manages to shoot off the pin holding the target all the while making out with Garcia.
King Incognito: A common WMG is that Paula used to be the Unbreakable Huntress, a female Demon Slayer who attempted to kill Fleming, but had all her limbs lopped off in the attempt. Fleming found her refusal to die endearing, so he revived her and made her his mistress. She eventually fought her way out of the Underworld and unwittingly into Garcia's arms.
Living Weapon: Johnson's an undead reformed demon if you want to get technical.
Lost Forever: There are hidden red gems throughout the levels, which you need for upgrades. Unfortunately, there's almost no backtracking in this game, and it's not always immediately apparent which way is the side path with the goodies and which is the main path that will shut closed behind you. Worse yet, there's no New Game+, so those precious upgrade gems are lost to you for good. At least you can spend money on more red gems.
Marathon Boss: The third Sister Grim if you don't know the trick. A fully charged skull blast to the core will end her Darkness stages instantly.
Mickey Mousing: Activating a Sushi Lamp causes this alongside a Japanese song.
Mood Whiplash: On the one hand, the game is a hilarious romp through a version of Hell that's so ridiculous as to be practically an amusement park. On the other, the girl you're trying to save spends the entire game getting repeatedly murdered.
No Animals Were Harmed: Watch the credits all the way to the end. "No demons were harmed in the making of this game. George's horse got sick and somebody shot a goat head but that's about it." Looking at that page quote,It's a relatively subtle Shout-Out to The Simpsons.
Nonuniform Uniform: Most of the boss demons wear an unusual outfit that looks half like a military outfit of some sort, half like some weird mechanical monstrosity.
Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Okay, so you beat Fleming and rescued Paula. Unfortunately, Paula's kind of gone crazy from being repeatedly killed and resurrected, and turns into some kind of multi-winged monster that pulls Garcia deeper into the demon world for one last boss battle.
Offhand Backhand: Garcia can do this to enemies sneaking up behind him with a button prompt.
One-Man Army: Garcia's very, very skilled at taking down demons. Also, the game's third difficulty setting says it all: Legion Hunter.
Our Demons Are Different: And they apparently like strawberries. Which makes more sense — sort of — when you find out in an optional scene that they're actually made of ground-up tongues and were placed in the world of the living as a sick prank by Fleming. The scene Crosses the Line Twice back to Black Comedy shortly thereafter, when it implies that cherries are made of hymens.
"Demon" is somewhat treated like it's more a profession than a race — Johnson is identified as an "ex-Demon" who left the demon world after tiring of just how disgustingly wicked and vile the whole thing was.
Seven Deadly Sins: Each of the storybooks exemplifies at least one sin in each of the bosses. George is Gluttony, Elliot is Envy, Justine is Lust, Paula isn't in a storybook, but was told by Johnson, and exemplifies Pride.
Shirtless Scene: Garcia starts the game out shirtless, grabbing his leather jacket just before he jumps into the portal to hell.
The Stage Map between levels is an 2-d old school imitation of Ghosts N Goblins.
Act 4-2 and Act 4-4 are called "Great Demon World Village" and "Great Demon World Forest", respectively. The Japanese name for Ghosts N Goblins is "Makaimura", or "Demon World Village", and one of its many sequels was called "Daimakaimura", or - you guessed it - "Great Demon World Village". Also, these levels include sidescrolling shooter segments. They are a bit similar to the Gradius series, but when Garcia takes damage, he loses pieces of his clothing, like Arthur in Ghosts N Goblins.
The game itself is a homage to the Evil Dead series and the Grindhouse-genre. A more specific homage appears when Garcia is forced to take refuge in a shack complete with a monster in the basement trying to get out. It even features the monster POV camera!
Garcia's jacket has the words "Love Will Tear Us Apart" on the back, which is a Joy Division song. Of course, you could consider the main character wearing a biker jacket with a reference to an old, beloved band to be a Resident Evil shout out on its own.
The Library is a practical dead-ringer for the library in Resident Evil, sliding bookcase puzzle and all. Furthermore, the sections of the library are named after the nine Circles of Hell.
South of the Border: Though the game takes place in an Underworld, the protagonist was dragged out of here. Garcia F. Hotspur says "I'm a Mexican, not a Mexican't," without irony and speaks with a ridiculous accent. His Spanish consists of "Magnifico!" and obscenities. He wears leather hot pants and reads slowly, tripping over his words. He regains health by downing an entire bottle of tequila in one swig and throwing it away while yelling a Spanish obscenity.
Stealth Pun: The first boss is a man with tapeworms who starts of riding a horse. Before the second half of the fight he eats his steed to power up. He was so hungry, he could (and did) eat a horse.
Surreal Horror: Did you really think a Suda 51 horror game wouldn't at least have elements of this? Even a lot of things that qualify as more standard things like Body Horror have the added terror of making absolutely zero sense. Somewhere between finding out goats are a light source, corpses that infinitely disgorge demons as long as they're in Darkness, and seeing a demon burst messily out of a woman at most half its size, you end up giving up on making any sense of this nightmare and roll with it.