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Video Game / Chex Quest

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Wearing breakfast as armor? Makes perfect sense.

Doom actually does teach you how to eat cereal! At least according to General Mills.

Chex Quest is a 1996 first-person shooter built from the Doom engine. Originally shipped in six million boxes of General Mills brand cereals. The game itself was notable for being the first CD game to be bundled in cereal boxes as a prize. The first game involves the Chex Warrior going down to a colonized planet invaded by a race of aliens called the Flemoids, on a mission to rescue the inhabitants.

In 1997, Chex Quest 2 was released, but instead of being shipped with breakfast cereals, this time it was distributed exclusively on the Chex Quest website. Numerous fansites still distribute the game to this day.

There were rumors of an impending Chex Quest 3, but no such thing ever came to light... until September 2008, more than a decade after Chex Quest 2's release, when former Digital Cafe employees Charles "Chukker" Jacobi and Scott Holman got together, created a new five-map campaign, and released it for free.

Chex Quest 3, which includes all three Chex Quests in one package, can be downloaded from Charles Jacobi's website. (Requires the ZDoom source port, or a derivative thereof.)

On April 18, 2016, nearly a decade after Chex Quest 3 was released, Chukker announced a remake of the first game in Unreal Engine 4 was in the works. It released on Steam on May 18th, 2020 and Nintendo Switch on March 11, 2022.

To tie in with the remake, the anthology comic book, Untold Tales of Chex Quest was released.

This game provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The reconstructed website contained references to an intro and ending for Chex Quest 2, but they appear to be lost forever.
  • Action Girl: HD has Wheatney Chexworth and Dr. O'Ryen.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The HD edition gives the original Chex Warrior a name (Fred Chexter), and adds five more playable characters, Wheatney Chexworth, Dr. O'Ryen, Shane 'The Dread' McBread, NACL96, and P.R.E.T.Z.L.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Several secret terminals in HD have messages with large amounts of alliteration.
  • Advertisement Game: For Chex cereal. The HD remake is more focused on advertising Chex Mix.
  • All There in the Manual: The now defunct Chex Quest website contains background information on the characters and setting.
    • The initial Flemoid outbreak was the result of a lab experiment Gone Horribly Wrong. The scientist from the intro, Dr. Crispinbowl, was the only one to escape.
    • The councilwoman, Admiral Wheet, founded the Nutritional Development Centernote  on Bazoik at the age of 7.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The Secret rooms in HD hold terminals with entries from former citizens of Bazoik.
  • Back for the Finale: The characters from the intro make a brief cameo in the ending.
  • BFG: The LAZnote  Device. Incidentally, given that every weapon is just a reskin of a Doom one, it is functionally identical to the Trope Namer, the BFG9000.
  • Bland-Name Product: The arcade machines in Chex Quest 2 reference Pac-Man and Asteroids in all but name.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Flemoids don't die, they're just sent back to their own dimension. Likewise, when you run out of health, you don't die, you merely get "slimed"note . Bloodily averted when you load the Chex Quest and Brutal Doom mods together.
  • Call-Forward: Flemoid Larvae appear in the Arboretum in HD, which weren't present in the original; only the sequels.
    Fred Chexter: Ugh! Higher resolution is not your friend!
  • The Cameo: NaCL 96's ending has Count Chocula, Boo Berry, and the Hamburger Helper mascot in the audience.
  • Canis Latinicus: The Flemoids generally follow this naming convention.
  • Compilation Re-release: Chex Quest 3 comes with slightly polished versions of the first two games.
  • Continuity Reboot: Chex Quest HD follows most of the original plot, but with an Intergalactic Federation of Snacks instead of Cereals, as the game underwent a minor Retool to promote Chex Mix instead of Chex cereal.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Sure, the game is still Doom at its core, but there's still a lot of changes that veteran players might find hard to get used to.
    • Most importantly, enemies do not infight. Flemoids suddenly zorching each other probably wouldn't make much sense, so understandably, the mechanic is disabled. This means that trying to use what would be clever setups only results in a waste of time.
    • In the original two games, splash damage from the Zorch Propulsor could hurt the player exactly like the rocket launcher. This was apparently left in by mistake, as Chex Quest 3 removed the Zorch Propulsor's ability to damage the player. This leads to veteran players trying to give themselves space before using the weapon out of habit, only for it to be unnecessary.
  • Developer's Room: A hidden room in (E1M2) contains photos of the dev team and a LAZ Device.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: In HD, You get the LAZ Device just before you reach the final boss.
  • Embedded Precursor: Chex Quest 3 includes the previous two games, with their maps given slight updates and fixes.
  • Excuse Plot: Goo aliens are invading this mining planet. Go zap them back to their own dimension and save the hostages. That's it.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: The zorchers fire beams of energy that don't kill the Flemoids, but teleport them back to their home dimension. They don't look like real guns either, instead looking like weaponized TV remotes.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • Ralston, the Cereal homeworld, appears to be this for Earth, complete with its own. Bazoik bears some similarity to Mars.
    • The IFC was founded ~200 years agonote  at the resolution of the Cold Cereal Wars.
  • The Federation: The Intergalactic Federation of Cereals (IFC), from whom the Chex Warrior hails.
    • In HD, they're the Intergalactic Federation of Snacks.
  • Fictional United Nations: E3M2, United Cereals.
  • Fighting for a Homeland:
    • In Chex Quest 2, the Flemoids have invaded Chex Warrior's home planet.
    • Ditto in Chex Quest 3, but on a larger scale.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Flemoid larvae are depicted much smaller in the intro than they are in-game.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism:
    • Glasses of water (1%), bowls of fruit (10%)/vegetables (25%) and the supercharge breakfast (100%) all restore your health, de-sliming you instantly. Water and breakfast can also go over the 100% limit, up to 200%, just like their Doom counterparts (health bonus/soul sphere).
    • According to the intro and website, Flemoid larvae can mature in seconds from as little as a single drop of milk.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: How Dr. O'Ryen speaks.
  • Immune to Bullets: Conventional weapons have no effect on Flemoids, as told in the opening cinematic.note 
  • Improbable Weapon User: The Chex Warrior's default weapon, the Mini Zorcher, is a TV remote-like device that allows him to teleport Flemoids back to their home dimension. All of his other weapons are implicitly this as well (the intro implies that Zorchers were originally meant to do something besides teleport Flemoids), most obviously the BootSpoon (a spoon) and the Super BootSpork (a electric-motorized spork).
  • Inexplicable Cultural Ties: Visiting the Cereal Planet in Episode 2 shows that the Chex people have a weirdly similar culture to humans, with Chex equivalents to a number of human pop-culture works.
  • Jumped at the Call: The Chex Warrior.
  • Large Ham: The Chex Warrior.
  • Locomotive Level: The last part of E3M2 set aboard the Chex Metro.
  • Medium Awareness: Dr. O'Ryen knows about the FMV's and the events of the original game.
  • The Moral Substitute: It's Doom, but instead of killing the enemies, you're just teleporting them back to their homeworld. Unlike most examples of this trope, it manages to be enjoyable on its own merits.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Planet Ralston is named after the company who used to own Chex before it got bought out by General Mills: Good Hot Ralston.
    • Fred, in his epilogue, says that he's been working since 1996, the year the original game came out.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The Chex Warrior is named "Fred Chexter" in the HD remake.
  • Nostalgia Level: Chex Quest 3 has you exploring the space station from the first game's opening cinematic, including the conference room.
  • Planet Looters: The Flemoids are implied to be this.
  • Retraux: General Mills' promotional site for Chex Quest 3 resembled a crude 90's website.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Shane McBread tries this in his ending, but rides off into the sunrise instead. He notes that this is a much better thing to ride off into.
  • Sequel Escalation: Chex Quest 3 has a fullscale invasion of Ralston at the hands of the Flemoids.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: In HD, Dr. O'Ryen's ending involves her traveling back to 1996 to prevent the first game from being developed.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Several films in the theater (Chex Quest 2) include "Shark", "Minesota Joe", and "Spaceship Potemkin". (Jaws, Indiana Jones, and The Battleship Potemkin, respectively.)
    • HD Features a robot modeled after Gizmoduck and Dr. O'Ryen's ending paying homage to the epilogue screens of Doom. Fitting, as the original game used the Doom engine.
    • The bridge of the spherical ship in HD's E1M1 bears some resemblance to that of the USS Enterprise, sharing elements from both the original series and the Kelvin timeline.
  • Suddenly Voiced: P.R.E.T.Z.L. uses Text to Speech in his epilogue to speak to the viewer.
  • Taunt Button: HD has a dedicated button for giving taunts.
  • Teleport Gun: Chex Warrior's weapon. Zorchers don't actually kill anything, they're a portal to the Flemoid Dimension contained within a force field bubble, which breaks when it hits a (semi)solid surface.
  • The End... Or Is It?: in HD: After turning his focus from heroism to fatherhood, a Flemoid appears from Fred Chexter's window.
  • Time Skip: Chex Quest 3 takes place 10 years after the first two games.note 
  • Too Dumb to Live: Wheatney's plan to go after the Flemoids on their own homeworld sounds valiant until you realize that the Zorchers don't kill anything and it teleports them to their homeworld... which is where she foolishly chose to dive into.
  • Triumphant Reprise: The ending features an upbeat version of the leitmotif found in the intro and E1M5.
  • Video Game Remake: Chex Quest HD is a remake of the first game in Unreal Engine 4, featuring reimaginings of the 5 maps of the original game, more playable characters and multiplayer.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We last see Bazoik as it gets overrun by Flemoids, and isn't mentioned again, save for a brief mention in E2M1note .
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The HD remake has these for all six castmembers.
    • Fred went on to start a family, but then sees a Flemoid invasion happening just outside his window.
    • Wheatney decides to take the fight to the Flemoid homeworld, at the risk of never being able to come home.
    • Dr. O'Ryen tries to stop the original game from being made at all, going back in time to stop it from being developed.
    • P.R.E.T.Z.L. runs the Social Media account for the Intergalactic Federation of Cereals.
    • Shane McBread returns home to be made sheriff, but instead rides off into the sunrise in search for adventure.
    • NACL96 bombs as a stand-up comic and asks the Admiral if he's going back to Bazoik.