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 Futurein 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 rants (exactly one) comes from Something Awful.
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: invokedAs 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.
"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.
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 Other than extremely awesome?
Celibate Hero: After the death of his wife, Barkley would never allow himself to fall for another woman.
Chiptune: The game's theme is the Space Jam theme backed by one of these.
The Chosen One: Hoopz Barkley, but whatever it is he was chosen to do, he doesn't do it in this game.
Continuity Nod: The protagonist of Barkley 2, who doesn't remember who he is, is named X114JAM9. In the original, Vinceborg cites error X114JAM9 in association with him not remembering his purpose.
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.
"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 Genesis game Barkley, Shut Up and Jam!.
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.
Furry Fandom: They live in the sewers of Neo New York. Surprisingly, they're actually treated pretty fairly - they're decent people (some hostility towards the "norms" aside, and that's required for the standard post-apocalypse sewer-dweller template), rather intelligent and insightful. Barkley's a dick to them, but he's a dick to everyone in this game. All in all, they come off far better here than in, say, Kingdom of Loathing.
The terms "bishie" and "ganjin", among others, are used.
And Michael Jordan's last words when you beat him are "S...So desu ne..."note Can be translated as "Is that so?" or "I'm afraid so." depending on situation.
Hacking Minigame: Subverted. Hinted to in the vending machine, but you never get any "science points" to attempt it.
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.
Hollywood Cyborg: Vinceborg is a conventional example, but there's also the Cyberdwarf, whose skin was replaced with basketballs after being injured.
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:
Shimmerglobe, the ultimate b-ball. After obtaining both the Hell B-Ball and Shimmerglobe, Barkley will Dual Wield them.
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.
Informed Ability: Barkley can supposedly perform the Verboten Jam and the Chaos Dunk, but never actually does it during gameplay. Given what the Chaos Dunk does, he might simply refuse to use it in combat despite being capable of it. Shadow Barkley does use the Verboten Jam against you when you fight him, having no moral qualms with it, unlike Barkley. It is a One-Hit Kill on anyone it hits regardless of equipment or stats, making it actually as powerful as you are told.
Jump Scare: Parodied. At one point in the Sugar Caves, an image of a sugar shaker will flash on the screen, horror-movie style.
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.
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 Time to Explain: The Cyberdwarf says this about taking Hoopz to the church. However, before doing that you do have time to complete an unrelated dungeon found in the back of his home.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.