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Video Game / Bad Mojo

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All my life, I've felt helpless, cheated, stepped on. I was always the little man, the square peg, the forgotten one. But that night, everything was gonna change...
Roger Samms, Opening Narration

A.K.A The Roach Game.

Bad Mojo was a 1996 FMV game by Pulse Entertainment. In it, you play as a down-on-his-luck entomologist named Roger Samms. He lives in a seedy apartment in San Francisco and gets little to no respect from his landlord, Eddie Battito. As the game opens, Roger has embezzled money from a science loan and is preparing to skip town for Mexico City. However, as he is packing, Roger pulls out the locket he got from his deceased mother. The locket suddenly activates and unleashes bad mojo onto Roger, turning his soul into a cockroach. Now Roger must find out what's going on and how to reverse it, guided by a mysterious woman named Oracle within the locket.

The game was known for its very, very creepy visuals as you wander around the bar. Since you're playing as a cockroach, you're virtually helpless against larger enemies and the environment and thus have to find a way around the level that will let you pass safely.


Bad Mojo has the following tropes:

  • Boarding School of Horrors: Roger was put in one of these after his father Eddie abandoned him.
  • But Thou Must!: A certain puzzle cannot be completed without shutting off the pilot light to a gas stove, inevitably causing the bar to be blown to bits. The ending is decided by who makes it out of the bar alive.
  • Cats Are Mean: The cat is actually not shown as mean. Roger treats it well, but when he has become a roach, it will try to eat it at any cost. And if it does, it will be shown as completely innocent. It's just an animal acting on instinct, after all.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The lit cigarette Eddie leaves in the bathroom is the key to getting the good ending; Roger needs to push it off the urinal and onto some paper towels, setting off the smoke alarm and waking Eddie up so he can get out of the bar before it goes up in flames.
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  • Contrived Coincidence: Roger and Eddie being father and son is pretty implausible. Some Lampshade Hanging is given by Eddie trying to wrap his head around it right before the bar explodes. Though the flat out supernatural elements in play lessen it.
  • Creepy Cockroach: The entire point of the game is Roger trying to navigate the bar while transformed into a cockroach.
  • Cymbal-Banging Monkey: One of Roger's old toys that he still has from his childhood, and one of the only things that his mother left for him. It also triggers a nasty memory where a nun from his orphanage called it ugly and laughed when he cried.
  • Death by Childbirth: Roger's mother died when he was born. Eddie's wife similarly died when his estranged son was born. That's a big hint that Roger and Eddie are related.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: There are a number of hazards to Roger's roach form, from predators to roach traps to various household objects.
  • Full Motion Video
  • Golden Ending: Out of the four endings, only one ends on a happy note with Roger and Eddie escaping the gas explosion in their building, realizing they're related, and running off to Belize. Roger uses the money he stole from the university to buy his dad a beachside cantina and himself a lab for studying rain forest insects. And they lived Happily Ever After.
  • Heroic Mime: Roger does plenty of talking as a human, but once he turns into a roach, he shuts up completely, since roaches can't talk.
  • Large Ham: Both Roger and Eddie ham it up every second they're on screen.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Eddie is Roger's father, and the Oracle who helps Roger in the quest is actually Eddie's wife and Roger's mother.
  • Macro Zone: Of the normal setting/tiny character flavor; you're an ordinary man trapped in the body of a cockroach trying to navigate a seedy bar.
  • The Many Deaths of You: There's a lot of ways to get killed in this game, including getting caught in a roach trap, getting eaten by rats, or burning to death.
  • Meaningful Name: Roger Samms/Gregor Samsa, anyone?
    • Roger's pet cat is named Franz, to keep with the Kafka homage.
  • Multiple Endings: Four of them, but three are Downer Endings - If neither escape the bar before it explodes, they end up haunting the area once it's re-developed. If Roger escapes but Eddie doesn't, Roger is charged with Eddie's murder and committed to an asylum. If Eddie escapes but Roger doesn't, Eddie ends up a homeless drunk. If both escape, they achieve the Golden Ending.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: At one point in the game, you have to save a baby roach from the stove. Roger does so by blowing out the pilot light, which causes gas to leak through the building and ultimately destroying it in an explosion.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: One of Roger's childhood keepsakes is a drawing of himself as a baby stabbing his mother to death, signifying his guilt over her Death by Childbirth.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: The amulet that Roger got from his late mother turns him into a cockroach, and ends up sending him on a quest that potentially leads to him reuniting with and reconciling with his father.
  • The Plan: The Oracle using the roach quest to reunite Roger and Eddie.
  • Reality Ensues: The sheer unhygienic and flat out hazardous state of the building? The bar has been shuttered by the city over the conditions.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: Increasingly ominous music plays in the last act of the game, to indicate the gas leak is about to reach the water heater's pilot light and burn down the bar.
  • Spirit Advisor: The Oracle provides cryptic hints on how to progress through each stage of the game.
  • Stalked by the Bell: In the final leg of the game, you only have a limited amount of time before the bar explodes from a gas leak catching fire.
  • Trash of the Titans: The bar is absolutely filthy, and because you're a roach, you get to see all of it in loving detail.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After you scare Franz away in Roger's room, you never see him again, not even in any of the endings. Considering the bar explodes in every ending, it likely didn't end well for him.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Rats are always bad news, and you should steer clear of them. No matter how dead they look.


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