Squiddy: Aren't you the hero?
Jables: I don't know.
Squiddy: Would you like to be?
Squiddy: Let's try this again. Hellllloooo, hero!
is a freeware platform game created by Jason Boyer (with help from Ryan Pietz on the dialogue and plot, and music by Kevin "Frantic Panda" Carville) and released in 2010. It's a Metroidvania
game (it plays like a less-linear Cave Story
) with a surreal, self-aware sense of humor.
You play as Jables, a 15-year-old boy who wakes up one morning to find a squid perched on his head. Its name is Squiddy, and he insists that Jables is the hero. So Jables sets off to go exploring and a-hero-ing.
In spite of the game's short length (Boyers estimates that it has 30-60 minutes of gameplay), it's surprisingly Troperiffic
Press [X] to become the tropes!
- Abnormal Ammo: Your Hurricane Gun fires a blast of air.
- Advancing Boss of Doom: Rutherford Goldbeard.
- Bears Are Bad News: They're the strongest non-boss enemies in the game.
- Blatant Item Placement: Given a tongue-in-cheek justification.
Don't worry, we're running a special promotion. Jables:
What's that? Shop keeper:
I hid weapons and items outside the town to drum up publicity. Jables:
Isn't that reckless? Shop keeper: It's a game, kid. Don't be so serious.
- Bubbly Clouds: Can be visited via jet pack at the top of every single above-ground screen. Some of these areas contain Easter Eggs.
- Card-Carrying Villain: King Squid.
- Chainsaw Good: Lumber Jacques' weapon of choice.
- Chekhov's Skill: The high five isn't just used to save progress...
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: The princess. Squiddy doesn't even mention the princess until the game is almost over—it comes across like he just made her up. Then King Squid, in spite of being a card-carrying villain, vehemently denies kidnapping her, further calling into question her involvement with the story. Then she shows up at the end of the game anyway.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Apparently you can't have a heroic quest without one.
Jables: If we've found a jet pack, then we're probably nearing the end of the game.
Squiddy: Oh, I guess you're right.
Squiddy: On the bright side, you'll get to meet the princess soon.
Jables: I didn't know there was a princess.
Squiddy: Neither did I...
- Excuse Plot: You're the hero! Now go, do hero stuff!
- Eyes Always Shut: Most of the squids, including Squiddy.
- Good Morning, Crono
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: Collecting all 10 Fruit of the Hero is an optional sidequest.
- Genius Loci: Possibly. There's a hill with a face, and its eyes follow you.
- Green Hill Zone: The fields right outside town.
- Head Pet: Squiddy might object to being called a pet, but he otherwise fits.
- Heart Container: Fruit each increase your health bar by 2 points.
- He Knows About Timed Hits:
Squiddy: Have you noticed how much the trigger looks like an [X]?
Jable: The resemblance is uncanny!
- Insane Troll Logic:
I had no idea there was a villain. Squiddy:
I bet he's the one who kidnapped the princess. Jables:
Let her go, King Squid! King Squid:
I didn't kidnap any princess. Squiddy:
Then where is she? King Squid:
My plan doesn't involve the princess. Squiddy:
Yet you kidnapped her anyway. Jables:
That's evil. King Squid: ...
- Lethal Lava Land: Squidville, which is in a volcano.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Neither of the first two bosses are evil. Lumber Jacques attacks because he thinks you're a walking tree. Rutherford Goldbeard attacks because he thinks you're a cattle rustler.
- Loads and Loads of Loading: it's a low-resolution game that requires several seconds of loading whenever you enter a new area, on contemporary dual-core gigahertz machines.
- The Lost Woods
- Jet Pack: In practice, functions like an infinite Double Jump.
- Medium Awareness: Everyone is apparently aware that this is a game.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Pokey the cactus, first encountered in the middle of a forest. Jables asks him what he's doing there, and he himself isn't sure. Later, Pokey shows up inside a volcano, and explains that he got there by digging.
- Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: The creator's description of the game calls it "an adventure filled with ... useless advice..." and he's not kidding. Squiddy thinks Jables couldn't jump before meeting him; he tries to teach Jables how to break blocks with his mind; and some of his useful facts about fruit are complete nonsense.
- Morton's Fork: Employed by Rutherford Goldbeard. First he thinks Jables is a cattle rustler, who therefore needs to die. When Jables convinces him he's not there for any cattle, Rutherford concludes Jables has been possessed by a brain squid—and Rutherford's brain-squid-removal procedure is no less lethal than his anti-cattle-rustler measures.
- Music Soothes The Savage Beast: After gaining the strawberry, Jables spontaneously sings the Strawberry Shortcake theme song, which calms the SCUBA bear's rage.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Pokey the cactus is "over 9000% fireproof".
- Offscreen Villainy: While King Squid claims to have a villainous scheme, no details are ever revealed. As far as we can tell, the scheme may have consisted of nothing more than declaring himself the villain and waiting for a hero to come fight him.
- Only Sane Man: King Squid
- Oxygen Meter: It depletes quickly enough that you can't really do anything underwater until you get the SCUBA gear.
- Scars Are Forever, Good Scars, Evil Scars: King Squid boasts a pretty badass scar over his left eye.
- Schmuck Bait: The mermaid gives you useless things to make you go away, eventually culminating with, "Listen, if I tell you a secret, will you leave me alone? ... If you pester the mermaid too much, you're gonna have a bad time." If you talk to her again, she says "I warned you," and kills you instantly.
- Left the Background Music On
- Talkative Loon: The mushrooms.
- Underground Level: Two different cave systems.
- Underground Monkey: Palette Swapped versions of the slimes appear in darn near every area. On the other hand, the normal bear, SCUBA bear, and flamethrower bear are all unique sprites.
- Under the Sea
- Yeah Shot: High five! Iris Out. Roll credits.
- You Have Researched Breathing:
Squiddy: I will now bestow on you the power to jump. Press [Z] to clear that gap!
Jables: I could already do that.
Squiddy: Oh. Good for you then.