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Land of no shame
"It started off with nothing left to desire."

Ganymede is a conversion ROM Hack of Super Mario World by R. M. Usher. Originally made as a re-imagining of the vanilla game entitled Thoughtful Mario World, Ganymede is an adaptation of an obscure concept album by The Shills, covering themes of loneliness, alienation, anger and hope.

The game's protagonist is the man on the boat, a nameless guy who has tried his whole life to fit in with the wider world and has finally declared the experiment a failure. Figuring there is no point in trying to deal with people, he sets off on his boat into the open sea. A squall blows through and destroys the boat, and when he awakens, he has washed up onto the shore of an island. Wreckage is strewn about and not one single human being is within many nautical miles. Deciding that this is a fortuitous turn of fate, the man on the boat sets about to make this beautiful place his new home, sharing it only with his own thoughts.


Unfortunately, his thoughts soon prove to be far more unpleasant neighbors than the self-obsessed and shallow human race he sought to flee from. What chance does a man have against his own doubts?

You can find the game as an .ips patch on ROM Hack archive SMWCentral.

Tropes that apply to Ganymede:

  • Abusive Parents: His parents are this, in the man's eyes. The truth of the matter is not so simple. His father was strict, aloof and frequently unhappy. His mom was working extremely hard to make a good life for her family, which led her to be distant and uninvolved. This sustained exertion burned her out entirely. They both loved their son, but were both too troubled and overwrought to be emotionally available.
  • The Alcoholic: The man on the boat, if not entirely wet in the brain, appears to be on this path.
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  • The Aloner: The primary objective behind the man leaving home is that he wishes to become this.
  • Author Avatar: The man on the boat visually resembles the author, and his concept in the original album was created from the lead singer's desire to create a version of his own anger, and kill it.
  • Badass Boast: The Man in Charge frequently hypes himself up whenever he's on the scene.
The Man in Charge:
I'm the one who does all the calling of shots
And I know where you live
And I know how you'll die
You can run your feet bloody
Bury your head and hide
Go as fast as you want
I'll be right behind
Nothing's going to save you
If I choose homicide
  • Beneath the Mask: Sad sacks hold shifty-eyed masks to conceal their faces, which can only ever be seen briefly, if one is stunned.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The house on the hill is just a regular abandoned house when found on New Home's Coast, but the house on the reverse coast, while looking the same on the outside, is impossibly massive on the inside.
  • Bi the Way: He was romantically involved with the Harpy for years, and intended to marry her before it all went wrong, but he later develops a crush on a male co-worker.
  • Break the Cutie: Much of why the man is so cynical and angry as an adult stems from repeated rejections and neglect suffered as a child.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: His attraction to his co-worker has never amounted to anything because the man is too terrified of rejection to dare say anything to him.
  • Concept Album: The game is based on one, by the same name.
  • Cool Shades: The man's glasses become shades when he has the Burning Rage.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Why the man got on the boat in the first place.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: The library beneath the house on the hill goes down for literal miles, and a whole new land awaits at the bottom.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Man in Charge is a living shadow with a single, all-seeing eye.
  • Framing Device: A man is marooned on a deserted island, but the bulk of the story involves examining events which happened before the man embarked on his journey.
  • Freudian Excuse: The man on the boat holds a great many grievances against the people in his life, and people in general, and has not yet considered what role he has played in his own depression and isolation.
  • Friendless Background: The man had few friends, and none stuck around very long.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: It could happen, and it results in the bad ending.
  • Goodbye, Cruel World!: The explicit reason the man gets on his boat is to escape from the cruel world. We do not know what his destination was intended to be, or if he had one.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Several, and they have all caused tremendous havoc. The man suspects it drives some of the bad behavior which has been directed towards him.
  • Henpecked Husband: The man has this image of himself.
  • How We Got Here: A level near the endgame depicts the exact series of events leading to the man's decision to abandon his life.
  • Humans Are Bastards: There are plenty of specific reasons why the man left, but in general, he's pretty sick and tired of everybody's bullshit.
  • In Medias Res: The game proper starts after the shipwreck, and most of the important events depicted have already taken place.
  • I Shall Taunt You: The Man in Charge rarely misses an opportunity to press the protagonist's buttons.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Several characters, including the protagonist himself.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: All of the characters have descriptive nicknames, and their real names are never spoken or mentioned.
  • Left-Justified Fantasy Map: Both played straight and inverted, with New Home's Coast flipped around after the initial visit (it is right-justified at first).
  • Loser Protagonist: Not for want of trying, but by the time he sets sail, there isn't much going for the guy. He has moved back into his parents' house, living in his childhood bedroom because his long-term relationship failed, and his Soul-Sucking Retail Job doesn't pay enough to let him live on his own. Even that poor employment is on thin ice, as the man becomes consumed by alcohol and apathy.
  • Madden Into Misanthropy: He's lived a life where he's never really fit in and in which everyone else seems to be shallow and self-centered, and it has all led to him finding other people utterly intolerable.
  • Meaningful Name: Each character's name describes their motives or personality in some way.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: One of the reasons the man and the Harpy break things off. As their relationship grows more tense and conflicted, the Harpy becomes increasingly paranoid that the man is flirting with other people.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Several levels have the man on the boat coming to understand that he has inflicted large amounts of hurt on people, and how his own actions have contributed greatly to his own misery.
  • New World Tease: It is possible to get a sneak peak of the Man in Charge's headquarters by accessing a secret area in Trepidatia.
  • No Antagonist: There is no greater evil or complementary villain to be found here. The Man in Charge definitely comes across as hostile, but his overall motives are a lot more complex and some of the things he does are overtly beneficial to the man on the boat.
  • Noob Cave: The first five levels are very easy, and cannot be revisited after the house on the hill.
  • No-Sell: Stone Bullies are immune to virtually every form of damage, including invincibility (only sliding or striking with another Bully Head can dispatch them, and these are attacks available to you only in certain situations).
  • Not So Different: Most of the people who have hurt the man have had their own issues, and the man has done a lot of the same things to other people, that other people have done to him.
  • Patchwork Map: The main area of the island has several geographical anomalies, which are potentially caused by the island not being real.
  • Personality Powers: All four of the man's forms are reflections of his personality. His default form is blue, noting his sadness. Burning Rage lets him fire projectiles of focused profanity, reflecting his anger and passion. The Half Pint wears yellow, speaking to the many fears which troubled him as a child, and with the Sword of Soaring, his green garb, a comment on the confusion and envy he feels towards other people.
  • Portal Network: Low Street, located south of the Man in Charge's HQ, features a set of buildings, which are actually portals that allow fast travel to all regions of the Underisland. They can only be accessed if the Revelations have been achieved.
  • Post-End Game Content: Many levels have remixes which offer challenges such as time attack or asceticism. These are entirely optional and are only accessible after all the Revelations have been completed.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Anger is one of the major emotional elements which finally make the man commit to leaving home.
  • Recurring Location: If the man makes it all the way through one of the branches of the Underisland, he returns to the tower which brought him there, and he can climb back up to New Home's Coast. It looks the same, but is reversed from its original appearance, and all the levels are different. This location can be returned to over and over, to allow access to whichever branch of the Underisland the man didn't access first.
  • Remixed Level: Several levels have extracurricular challenges in the form of remixes. The Grip of Panic is a twisted, confusing maze of a level found in Trepidatia. Finding the secret exit leads to Deliberate Untruths, which is a remix of the previous level, being split into two halves. The second half is a remix of the first half. It is, easily, one of the game's largest and most challenging levels.
  • Symbol Swearing: The Burning Rage powerup allows the man on the boat to shout profanities, which manifest as symbol-shaped projectiles.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Each region has a teleporter which leads to Low Street, but they don't work until you reach that location and activate them.
  • Title Drop: Ganymede is the nickname of the male co-worker to whom the man is romantically attracted.
  • World of Chaos: The Underisland does not pay much attention to the concept of logical geography, and even individual levels tend to follow their own, surreal, set of environmental rules.

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