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Video Game / Armed & Delirious

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Granny: I think that-
Unknown Voice: It's forbidden to think, talk, or do anything that's not in the interest of finding the passage.
Granny: But-
Unknown Voice: It's forbidden to think. Believe me, it's for your own good."
— The game secretly giving advice on how to process all of its insanity

Armed & Delirious (also known as GrannyX in Israel, simply Granny in Germany, and Dementia with the Tag Line "it's a state of mind" in the rest of Europe) is a 1997 adventure/puzzle game developed by Makh Shevet Games and published by Sir-Tech, in which crotchety Granny Crotony goes looking for her family after her greedy son makes a deal with a rabbit in a suit, which results in the family home being pulled into outer space.

This game is profoundly surreal, runs on a constant stream of nonsensical moon logic in setting and mechanics, and checks pretty much every box on the list of '90s adventure game sins, even inventing a few of its own. The most infamous example is a puzzle with 512 possible solutions, where overlooking or forgetting the obscure clue in the first area of the game means you have to try all of them until you find the right one. Other puzzles include things like putting bullets in mushrooms to best a giant, opening the sun like a door, and convincing a plant secret agent that you exist.

Ross's Game Dungeon did a 2-part episode on it, trying its best to condense the original game's 5 CD's into a 50 minutes overview.

This game includes examples of:

  • Actually, I Am Him: In the Door Planet, a group of policemen working for the Great Rabbit capture Granny and interrogate her for information on where Granny is, not realizing that's who they're interrogating.
  • Apocalyptic Log: A tape player at the beginning contains an audio diary from George, describing his deal with the Rabbit, and the tour he took of the Rabbit's personal universe.
  • Asshole Victim: The Crotony family are pretty much all assholes; Granny is less interested in rescuing them than getting back the pages of her cookbook.
  • Baby Planet: Road World, which looks like a clustered urban street with a car pile-up and miniature football stadium, all encompassing a very small planet.
  • Bad Guy Bar: One of the locations in the pinball town, where many of the Rabbit's mooks show up to play poker.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: The family is identified in the manual as animal torturers and getting revenge for abuse he suffered is the rabbit's motivation.
  • Be the Ball: One of the game's locations is a Wild West Town inside a giant pinball machine, and reaching any of its locations requires playing the machine, with Granny as the ball.
  • Binocular Shot: Seen in the intro when Granny watches a girl on roller skates, before throwing something at her head. Later in the game, Granny finishes the job and drowns the kid in a fountain.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Most locations in the game, following its bizarre logic. Surreal is the closest word for it, many locations involved feel like entering a Salvador DalĂ­ painting; the rest are simply utterly bizarre. George lampshades one such area in his diary, which was built by a deaf architect who couldn't understand his own blueprints.
  • Broken Record: The balloon maker's musical number mostly consists of him repeating the phrase "I love to make balloons."
  • Chicken-and-Egg Paradox: Early in the game, you get a tape recorder that gives hints and exposition for the various locations you visit. In and of itself, that's fine, but the tape recorder is narrated by Granny Crotony's son, who supposedly got a tour of the various worlds which convinced him to sell the villa to the rabbit, except everything but the Communication World was created from the objects in the villa after it was sold according to the manual.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: At one point, Granny goes through "torture" consisting of a woman slapping her, showing her a photograph that causes her to scream for some reason, and stepping on her foot while she comically screams.
  • Coolest Club Ever: The nightclub under the pinball town.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: The game runs on it. It actually opens with Granny beating up a pair of sentient flowers for absolutely no reason.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Granny's cookbook is full of absurd and complicated recipes, much to the Rabbit's frustration.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Great Rabbit, who fixes stock prices, has a gaggle of crooked citzens working for him, and, as quoted from the manual, "can buy anything and anyone he wants".
  • Cow Tools: Almost everything Granny collects and uses is this. One noteworthy example is Granny's "spaceship" being built out of the house's washing machine and a hair drier.
  • Cranium Compartment: A sleeping woodcutter on one of the worlds has this, with an ax embedded in his head. Granny can put a pill in it to summon a car.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: Even by old puzzle-adventure game standards, this game requires a lot of dickishness to random, undeserving bystanders in order to progress. Lampshaded when the Rabbit warns everyone that Granny is a menace to society.
  • Cutscene Boss: After rescuing the Crotony family and entering the Great Rabbit's room, the final confrontation between him and Granny plays out entirely in a cutscene.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: In part of the intro and the ending.
  • Disconnected Side Area: The Great Rabbit's office is isolated from everything else, to the point that the only way in requires finding a number of absurd items to open a fan in the room with the plant agents, turn it on, and walk through it.
  • Dreadful Musician: At one point, Granny falls into a karaoke room containing a boy trying to sing "Old McDonald". His performance barely qualifies as music, and two old men aren't even listening. Naturally, you have to kick the kid off-stage in order to progress.
  • Easy Listening: A surprisingly calm piano tune that plays in a museum. Subverted when the same track turns up in a police station elsewhere, mixed with sounds of off-screen torture.
  • The Elevator from Ipanema: An elevator in one area plays Muzak backwards when you enter. It plays normally when the elevator turns sideways.
  • Enfant Terrible: Of all the family members, Fritz is the most sadistic of the bunch, often seen conducting "experiments" on the family dog.
  • Event Flag: You can reach the Rabbit's room much earlier than you're supposed to, but he'll simply be absent until you've found and rescued all the family members.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: George sends instructions to the Rabbit in the intro using Morse code, and Granny can use George's telegraph later on to send a threatening message to the Rabbit.
  • Evil Chef: The Great Rabbit is obsessed with making soup and has killed untold numbers of sentient plants in the name of his recipes.
  • Evil Laugh: The Rabbit unleashes a long one in the intro while giant scissors cut out Granny's house and launch it into space. He also abruptly falls asleep mid-laugh when his video monitors shut off.
  • Flavor Text: The descriptions for each inventory item include subtle tips on how and where to use them. At one point late in the game, the game lampshades itself for revealing too much.
  • Flipping the Bird: The Rabbit drew himself doing this in a note he left after stealing Granny's cookbook.
  • Flying Face: The trees are antagonized by a green bear head with a mohawk that zooms around the glade eating all their fruit.
  • Forbidden Zone: The Communication World, where the Rabbit lives. He taunts you as you explore it, and tries to bait you into falling for a number of traps.
  • Funny Background Event: This game is loaded with them.
  • Gainax Ending: The game's final scene is as equally bizarre as how it started, with the Crotony family moving away and driving into a tunnel shaped like the Rabbit's head, which laughs maniacally after they enter.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The first time you enter the plant people's hideout, you have to leave and re-enter three or four times to hear what they have to say before you finish the puzzle, otherwise a bug will cause you to hit a dead end.
  • Grandma's Recipe: Grandma's Recipes actually constitute the MacGuffin, with the villain stealing Granny's cookbook in hopes of recreating her famous soup. Fittingly for both the game and Granny, the recipes therein have ingredients both bizarre and disgusting when actually given out.
  • Granola Girl: Granny's granddaughter Donna is a hippie. She even smokes weed in one scene.
  • The Greys: One of the NPCs in Road World.
  • Guide Dang It!: You know it's bad when the top Google result when searching for a walkthrough was written by the lead tester of the game. It even includes a disclaimer that it was written before the game actually came out, meaning that it's very likely that nobody has beaten this game legitimately (who wasn't also involved in its creation). While the entire game is confusing as all hell, some examples that stick out include:
    • While you can travel to the various worlds immediately after you leave the Crotony house, you won't be able to make actual progress unless you travel to the worlds in the right order to get the necessary items. Good luck figuring it out on your own.
    • In Lower Door World, you have to unlock an electronically locked door with a security camera to gain access to the police station. Do you have to figure out the code, get a keycard, find someone else to open it for you, or something along those lines? Nope! You have to jump back and forth horizontally and vertically on the right axis to foil the security camera.
    • Soon after that, you have to set a trap for the hairdresser and make her fall into a manhole. If you knock a bust off the top of a shelf, you'd think that it would be a part of the puzzle, but it's not. The actual solution involves you having Granny sit on the couch and waiting until she shifts her legs to click on the couch again. If done correctly, she'll get off the couch and the hairdresser will fall into the manhole. That's right, Granny does absolutely nothing to get rid of the hairdresser.
    • At one point, you have to open a giant microwave by throwing darts at the right combination of colors. There's a total of 512 possible combinations for said colors, and if you overlook the hint in one of the rooms in the first location of the game, and don't think to backtrack to look for hints, you have to try every possible combination one by one until you get it. One particular walkthrough claims that if you are unlucky enough to have to go through all of the combinations before you find the right one, it should "only" take you about 30-45 minutes. Because that's not frustrating in the slightest!
  • Head Desk: After discovering that Granny has activated her spaceship and left the villa, the Rabbit begins bashing his head against his desk and sobbing.
  • Hint System: Playing George's audio diary in certain rooms will sometimes give his account on them, with tips on how to solve the associated puzzles.
  • Historical Domain Character: One area has two Napoleon Bonapartes in it. One does nothing but load ammunition into a cannon and fire it, while the other is constantly being chased around in circles by a road roller.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Granny's inventory is stored in her bra. Apparently, there's a lot of room in that thing. Notably, at one point she adds her husband to her inventory. The game is also inconsistent in how the "bra-ventory" works: Granny has no problems walking around and doing acrobatics with tons of heavy items in there, but one puzzle early in the game specifically revolves around making the bra's contents heavy enough to lift up some rails see-saw style.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Interacting with a gun in the gun shop causes Granny to accidentally shoot herself in the eye with it. Fortunately, the gun fires miniature plungers instead of bullets, and Granny is unharmed.
  • Impossible Task: The van owner at Gazbig has many useful items Granny needs, but he always asks for intentionally obtuse items in exchange without expecting Granny to find them - such as "a hat that claps its hands". Naturally, these items exist.
  • Informing the Fourth Wall: When the Head plant agent gives out some useful information, Granny falls asleep during the entire speech.
  • Inside a Computer System: In one part of the Communication World.
  • La RĂ©sistance: A group of anthropomorphic plants, who're fighting against the Rabbit because he wants to use them in his soup.
  • Laughably Evil: The Great Rabbit, despite being an evil mastermind who kills sentient beings for his soup, is a very entertaining character who provides much of the game's comedy.
  • Left the Background Music On:
    • A set of red shoes invert this, dancing by themselves when a record player turns on, playing a country western number, of all things.
    • The jukebox in the bar keeps stopping randomly, and one of the patrons smacks it to keep it going.
    • Melanie appears lounging next to a boom box in one part of the game, and Granny shorts it out to get Melanie's attention.
  • Leitmotif: Any scene or location with the Rabbit involved has a bass guitar in the accompanying music.
  • Lost in Translation: While it's not enough to cover even half of the oddities this game bears, it's believed several of the nonsensical solutions to puzzles came from Hebrew pun logic that simply didn't translate to any other language.
  • Loud of War: When Granny enters a room containing a set of giant speakers, the Rabbit blasts her out of the room by playing a discordant jazz track through them. Naturally, putting on a pair of earmuffs keeps her safe.
  • Mad Scientist: The Crotony family likes performing experiments on animals. According to one of George's tapes, they do it to other humans as well.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Granny was secluded in the attic of her family's house before the events of the game. Being outside the house was why the Rabbit sent his goons after her.
  • Meaningful Background Event: In the intro, a pigmy hippo runs out of Granny's house and disappears. This hippo is who the Rabbit turns out to be at the end.
  • Meaningful Name: The European version of the game is called Dementia. Almost quite fitting considering who the playable character is and how she behaves.
  • Meaningless Meaningful Words: A big chunk of Granny's inner monologues are this, which have no relation to anything in the game or plot, despite sounding otherwise.
    *Granny recovers from being thrown off a ledge*
    Granny: "You're so pathetic! You can't think of anything new!"
  • Misguided Missile: At one point, Granny can launch a missile from her house, but all it does is veer off randomly into space and confuse the Rabbit.
  • Missing Secret: Several items acquired during the playthrough have no use.
  • Mobile-Suit Human: The Rabbit is in fact a human-shaped suit controlled by a pygmy hippo.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: The various puzzles tend to have entirely un-intuitive solutions, largely because a lot of the items that you use do something other than what you'd logically expect. For instance, at one point, you have to get into a building. This is somehow accomplished by stealing clothes from a supermodel, which somehow causes Granny to temporarily de-age.
  • Mooks: The rabbit's agents, who sometimes pop up to follow Granny's movements, usually without success.
  • Murphy's Bed: George has one in his Secret Room, missing its mattress. Granny can backflip over it, but it only folds up when she finds the keycard to launch a missile behind it.
  • Mushroom Samba: Granny's first action in the intro is to eat a mushroom. She then instantly falls unconscious with her eyes open.
  • Nintendo Hard: Just try beating this game without ever consulting a walkthrough. The fact that the first Google result when searching for a walkthrough was written by the lead tester for the game says something.
  • Noodle Incident: The narrator discusses one the Crotony family were involved in.
    Narrator: Maybe they've forgotten the events of last year? But someone, or something, has not.
  • Ominous Multiple Screens: The bank of monitors in the Rabbit's office, complete with video feeds on Granny's movements. A couple of puzzles even involve disabling some of his cameras to progress.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • Two unskippable cutscenes several minutes long each consist of one long joke involving the rebel plants listing off all the qualities they are looking for in a secret agent, i.e. everything Granny is not.
    • The Balloon Maker's song runs for over ten minutes in length.
  • Pathetic Drooping Weapon: When Granny tries out a shotgun in the gun store, the barrel droops after one shot.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The finale of the William Tell Overture plays in one area.
  • Rabbit Magician: Downplayed since it only comes up once, but The Rabbit uses magic to imprison Donna in a hat.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: Granny's eldest granddaughter, Florence, is a punk rocker that nobody else in the family seems to like. When Granny takes her guitar elsewhere in the game, it has very noticeable cracks.
  • Running Gag:
    • Granny often says "(X) is my middle name!" within the game. The Rabbit brings it up at the end as a Brick Joke, asking what her middle name actually is.
    • A cow makes random appearances throughout the game.
  • Scatting: The music in the Crotony home after the intro is a number of blues tracks, with this as vocals.
  • Room Full of Crazy: One room is coated entirely in nonsensical math equations, including the floor, while a man floats around using a helmet.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: A hallway in Door World is filled with a variety of doors in random positions, and random characters sometimes walk between them in the background.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: When Granny enters a gun store, we get to hear the owner making out with someone in the back room. And Granny has to ring the desk bell to get the owner's attention.
    "This is one small step for man, one GIANT LEAP FOR SEX! BOOM, BABY!"
  • Shout-Out:
    • If Granny tries to go out the front door without her spaceship, she gets blown back in by a gust of wind, similar to Alone in the Dark.
    • While exploring the bondage dungeon, Granny wonders if the Bee Gees had visited the area, prompting her to sing the refrain from "Stayin' Alive."
    • The plants use the phrase "may the compost be with you" to wish good luck.
    • One door in the Door Planet is opened by jumping across a series of tiles which turn yellow when landed on. The rat hints at the solution by quoting "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" from The Wizard of Oz, although he says "bricks" instead of "brick."
    • When Granny navigates a dark cave, she says, "I wouldn't even let MC Hammer touch me!"
    • The description for the mushroom states that it "will not make you bigger or smaller."
  • Silent Credits: The game's ending does this, although the credits can be viewed beforehand with accompanying music.
  • Smoking Is Not Cool: Melanie, Granny's daughter-in-law, is always seen lazing with a cigarette and oblivious to everything going on. George also lights up a cigar while enjoying his new store.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: A frequent occurrence in this game, since the puzzles are often not only completely absurd, but have no bearing on why you should be able to progress or not. Then again it can be hard to determine which ones qualify, what with the weird shit going on everywhere.
  • Speak in Unison: The rat and snail duo in the Door Planet mostly talk this way.
  • Subtitles Are Superfluous: Subverted. The game has subtitles, but not for every scene.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: The included manual states "this game is not the fruit of a sick man's mind". The fact that they felt the need to include that line says something all on its own.
  • Television Portal: How does Granny get her cookbook back? By the pygmy hippo throwing it through one of his monitors - which actually shatters it, for good measure.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: The balloon maker, when first encountered, spends about a minute and a half singing a song about his love of making balloons.
  • To Be a Master: The balloon maker's goal is to be "recognized as the greatest balloon maker in the history of the world."
  • Totally Radical: When she activates her washing machine spaceship, Granny says "Let's go catch some rabbit ears, dude!" She later calls the hedgehog in the hair salon a "funky red shoe dude."
  • Traveling Salesman: George, Granny's son, was a failing example of this at the start of the game. Then the Rabbit approached him in private and offered him a lucrative store in his universe, in exchange for selling the rest of his family and their house to the Rabbit, which is how everything went awry.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: See Game-Breaking Bug above; that chance of locking yourself out of the game by progressing a little too fast was entirely a mistake, according to the playtester writing the main guide.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The intro opens with a narrator describing the Crotony family as calm, loving, and perfectly normal. The visuals beg to differ.
  • Where It All Began: In one of the worlds, Granny can re-visit the neighborhood where her house used to be at the start of the game.
  • Window Watcher: The Rabbit has a camera aimed at a celebrity's dressing room.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Granny's bra is used for storing the various items she picks up in her travels.
  • Villain Song: The Rabbit sings one to himself during the end cutscene, before Granny interrupts - giving him mock applause for good measure.
    "I'm a pretty rabbit and I'm in love with me!
    With meeee! Just me! Don't ya see?
    Now everything's quiet, and she's lost in space!
    Don't need to chase her no more, 'cause she's outta my face!"
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Two examples.
    • Reaching the Great Rabbit's house is a built-up objective when reaching the Communication World, but when you finally get inside, he appears briefly then vanishes, and all you can do is steal a couple of items.
    • Similarly, if you reach his office before rescuing Granny's family members, the Rabbit won't show up until you do.