You take control of Timmy, a naive and excitable young boy that misses a violin lesson to check out the Midway, an amusement park he heard about in his town.
But the deeper you go into the Midway, and the more quirky characters among the lot that you meet and are told the past of, you just may realize that there's something deeply wrong going on...Something like Blackmail, the mystery of the Midway's owner in a coma, a crazy Serial Killer, and tax problems.
Bad Day On The Midway is a 1995 CD-ROM game from The Residents, with 3D graphics by the late Jim Ludtke.
Here is the character page.
This game contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Most of the characters, if not all, have had a bad childhood. Some of which fit into this trope.
- Amusement Park: The Midway itself, run-down and broke. It shows shades of Amusement Park of Doom and Crappy Carnival.
- It does seem to have rollercoaster roads around it, but you never get the chance to ride it.
- It has a shooting gallery called Kill-a-Commie, in which the targets are Dirty Communists.
- It has two exposition museums: the "three-headed abominable snowman", and the "sperm whale giving birth to an electric eel".
- It has a betting booth that stars Oscar the Racing Rat as he runs in a roulette and has people guess which of the six holes inside he will go in. The game is rigged against you by Otto, but still...
- Animal Motif: Animals hold an important part in most of the characters' lives: dogs for Dagmar and the IRS Man, rodents for Otto, butterflies for Ted, and goldfish for Timmy. Even Dixie comments "guess the best family I ev'r had wuz poor little Moochy."
- Art Shift: The backstories of the various characters are accompanied by wacky 2D-drawn sequences by various guest artists.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The women working in the Midway; respectively, Dixie, Dagmar and Lottie. At least, in the 3D models...
- Freudian Excuse: The characters are all flawed in various ways, and a number of them have this to one degree or another.
- Ted is a serial killer as an adult, and he places much significance on his father hitting him as a child.
- Otto was mocked and bullied in his childhood, and he later became desperate and manipulative.
- Dagmar had troubled relationship with her father; when she was a child, a man tried to kill her just to get revenge on her dad. Her upbringing influenced her later rocky relationships.
- Jocko spent an unhappy period in an orphanage in his childhood, and he became a very tough customer later in life.
- Ike's memories suggest that his father didn't give him the understanding and approval he wanted as a child, and that he became obsessed with Hitler due to a vague similarity between Hitler and Ike's father.
- The IRS man saw his dog run over by a man speeding to file a late tax return, so he became fixated on supporting the legal system and punishing cheaters.
- Even Oscar wants, on some level, to get revenge on people after being used and abused in the past.
- Leitmotif: When you assume control of another character, a short segment from the soundtrack plays for a few seconds.
- Only Fatal to Adults: The Plague will inevitably kill off every adult in the park, including the character the player is controlling. Timmy, however, is immune to it.