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Video Game / Clarence's Big Chance

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The man himself!

Clarence's Big Chance is a platformer made by Pseudolonewolf of Fig Hunter games. In it, you play as an ugly 35-year-old virgin who lives with his parents. However, recently, through an online dating site, he found a girl willing to date him! This is his titular "big chance", and he can't afford to mess it up. The game revolves around Clarence going through humorously over-the-top adventures to accomplish everyday tasks, such as getting dressed and going to work. Interestingly, though there are lots of things to do and each area is quite large, most of it is optional, and can be sped through quickly if the player so desires. However, how much you explore and what items you obtain heavily influence the outcome of Clarence's date.

The game is split into four main areas; Clarence's house, where he must prepare for the day and find the front door keys to get out; the suburbs, where he must travel to work; the workplace, where, depending on how many tasks he does, Clarence can be either promoted or fired; the city streets at night, where Clarence must buy gifts for his girlfriend; and finally the date itself, which consists of a long Dialogue Tree revolving around impressing Clarence's girlfriend. Depending on how well you perform, you will receive one of five endings.

Unlike Pseudolonewolf's other works, there is little in the way of actual plot development, and more of a focus on over-the-top comedy and humour. Expect near-constant Lampshade Hanging of typical platformer conventions and the absurd situations of the game itself.

As of late, Psuedolonewolf has been working on an RPG sequel, which seems to be very comical in nature, to this called "Clarence RPG: Clarence's Unsurprising Marital Problems." The sequel features Clarence and his wife, whose name is now officially Sally, and takes place chronologically after the Best Ending of Clarence's Big Chance. The game is meant to be non-violent: while the battles use the same mechanical concepts - hit points, skills that deal damage, turns, etc - bloodshed and spell flinging aren't there. Instead, the battles represent "social interactions". Rather than having HP, characters would have 'willpower' instead, and rather than having elemental skills like fire, water, etc, each skill would have an emotional 'flavour' like 'happy', 'angry', 'friendly', 'disgusting', and so on. Characters and enemies would have weaknesses and resistances to these like creatures do to elements in MARDEK.

Play it here.

This game contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer
  • Acrofatic: Clarence can jump several times his own height while still being fat enough to crush enemies with his sheer mass.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted. Some of the NPCs do, and Clarence's girlfriend might, but more often than not, she won't.
  • Apathetic Citizens: Clarence's coworkers, Played for Laughs. One even stands around impassively while the room is on fire.
  • Asteroids Monster: The computer virus, which is the closest thing the game has to a Boss Battle.
  • Basement-Dweller: Clarence in the beginning and in the Bad Ending.
  • Better than a Bare Bulb: Due to the game's parodic and humourous nature, Pseudolonewolf is able to hang even more lampshades than he usually does.
  • Business of Generic Importance: Parodied, as the sign outside of Clarence's workplace reads "Generic Company".
  • Casanova Wannabe: Clarence.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Clarence has little ambition, poor luck with women, and is generally an all-around loser.
  • Collision Damage
  • Color Motif: Clarence and his personal effects are generally associated with the color pink.
  • Cool Shades: Clarence can get them if he is promoted to executive.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Despite entering the oven without any protective clothing, Clarence doesn't get hurt unless he actually toucches the fire.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Parodied.
    Executive: Crawl around, little ants! One day, daddy's gonna stand all over your faces and make him bum-loads of sweet dough! You know it!
  • Cutting Off the Branches: In the first game, the girl can have one of 3 names chosen at random, and there's a total of 5 endings ranging from worst case scenario, where Clarence ends up retreating to an underwater society of non-drowning virgins to best case scenario, in which he marries the girl. In the planned sequel, the girl's name is now Sally, and comes after the events of the best ending where he marries.
  • Cyberspace: You can travel into Clarence's computer and do quests on the internet.
  • Dating Sim: At the end.
  • Deadly Droplets: In the bathroom area, there are water droplets dripping down the ceiling that need to be avoided. Swimming, however, is just fine. One of the signposts makes fun of that.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Some of the signposts act like this. See also Lemony Narrator, below.
  • Death Throws: Clarence jumps with his arms lifted and a shocked expression as he dies.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Clarence in the Bad and Worst Endings. In the Bad Ending, Clarence simply becomes a Basement-Dweller again, but in the Worst Ending, he is Driven to Suicide.
  • Dialogue Tree: During the date.
  • Driven to Suicide: Clarence in the Worst Ending. Subverted, however; he survives due to his Super Not-Drowning Skills.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: From office supplies to water droplets. Also lampshaded, in both cases.
    "While submerging yourself in water is fine and dandy, you wouldn't want to get bonked on the head with a nasty water droplet! That kind of thing causes injuries, you know. And death."
    Programmer: Whatever maniac decided to give [the office supplies] real, beating, flesh-and-blood hearts was sadly mistaken when he said they'd only cause them to be more loving!
  • Face Palm: Clarence's girlfriend will do this if he performs badly enough.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Clarence in the Worst Ending. His Super Not-Drowning Skills put a wrinkle in his suicide plans.
  • Gag Nose: Clarence.
  • Goomba Stomp: Lampshaded and justified; Clarence is so heavy that he crushes enemies by jumping on them.
  • Gonk: Clarence.
  • Happily Married: Clarence and the girl in the Best Ending.
  • Hearts Are Health: Charles has a life bar made of four simple hearts, but he recovers health by eating actual human-looking hearts. Lampshaded;
    "Like so many cyberland characters, Clarence, you can rejuvenate your vim by devouring the hearts of your fallen victims. Go on. Give 'em a scoff to fill up your lovely heart points and stave off death for another day."
  • Hub Level: The interdimensional hub lets Clarence warp between levels, as long as he found the respective pink door. The house also has its hall function as one, as Clarence can enter any of the doors to enter the respective room.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: One of the dialog choices during the date is "You're like a summer breeze blowing in the wind". Selecting it makes your date think you're poetic.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: One of the few tropes the game doesn't lampshade is the keys that open doors and disappear upon being used.
  • Jump Physics: Lampshaded.
  • Justified Save Point: Televisions store a copy of Clarence's soul whenever he walks by them, apparently.
  • Leet Lingo: Clarence and his boss talk in chatspeak.
  • Lemony Narrator: It's one of Pseudolonewolf's games, so this is pretty much a given.
  • LOL, 69: It's revealed at the date that Clarence named his dating profile "StudMuffin69".
  • Loser Protagonist: Clarence. If you play your cards right, you can land him a promotion to executive and a hot girlfriend, pulling him out of this trope.
  • Malevolent Architecture: The environments the player navigates in were clearly not meant to be lived in. For an example, it requires navigating underwater tunnels to just get a shower.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Charles turns invincible and flashes upon getting hit. It actually lasts for quite a while.
  • Metroidvania: Sort of. Though the game itself is very linear, each level is very open and full of secrets.
  • Multiple Endings: 5 in all.
    • Worst Ending: The girl is repulsed by Clarence and leaves him. Clarence is Driven to Suicide and jumps in a lake, but his Super Not-Drowning Skills kick in. He meets a group of people like him at the bottom of the lake and decides to spend the rest of his days with them.
    • Bad Ending: The girl is repulsed by Clarence and leaves him. A depressed Clarence loses his will to continue chasing girls, and spends the rest of his days as a Basement-Dweller with the internet as his only companion.
    • Neutral Ending: The girl decides Clarence is not for her, although they remain somewhat friendly for a time. She introduces him to some of her friends, but he is unable to pursue romance with full vigor due to his initial failure.
    • Good Ending: Clarence and the girl date for a while, although they eventually decide a romance between them is simply not meant to be. They remain friends, and Clarence gains new confidence due to his experience and continues trying to find the woman of his dreams, although the girl continues to hold a special place in his heart.
    • Best Ending: The two fall in Love at First Sight, and things get steamy. Clarence, beyond all belief, is able to not screw up his new-found relationship, and he and the girl are Happily Married and spend the rest of their days together. This is the canon ending, and leads into the sequel.
  • Nintendo Hard
  • No Name Given: Subverted with Clarence's girlfriend. She does have a name in each game — one picked randomly out of a possible three. There is no official name for her, however.
    • In the sequel though, her official name is Sally, which was one of three possible names for her in the game.
  • Noob Cave: Clarence's room generally lacks danger and is meant to introduce the player to the controls as well as some of the more unusual mechanics, like jumping on beds.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Generally averted, as you can return to previous levels through the interdimensional hub. However, whatever you do, do not eat the burger for breakfast, as it will give Clarence permanent bad breath note . (That is, unless you kill yourself before walking through a door or past a television, in which case you will be reset to a point before you ate the burger.)
  • Poison Mushroom: The hamburger. It will give Clarence "breath like an ogre" and make him look fat, which will cost you a lot of points at the date section.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Averted.
    "Your Shirt and Tie: A fancy pink shirt and brown tie that you think make you look like a man of good taste. You are deluded."
  • Save Point: Both broken televisions and doors act as save points and checkpoints when Clarence touches/opens them.
  • Scary Scorpions
  • Shout-Out: The plumber enemies look very similar to the Super Mario Bros.. The narrator even tells you, "Just don't let them near any mushrooms and you should be fine." The credits reveal that the enemy is named "Bluigi", making the reference even more obvious.
  • Sound Test: The title screen has a Music Player that lets you listen to all the tracks you've already heard in the game.
  • Story Overwrite: It doesn't matter if you ended the game in your underwear or the fancy executive suit, Clarence will still be wearing his pink suit in the ending cutscenes.
  • Stupid Boss: Clarence's boss may well be, given that he talks in chatspeak and that Generic Company in general seems rather incompetent.
  • Sunglasses at Night: If you get the promotion, Clarence changes into a swanky business suit, complete with sunglasses.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Actually a plot point in the Worst Ending.
  • Temporary Platform
  • Threatening Shark
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Clarence and the girl in the Best Ending.
  • Understatement: Parodied in the Worst Ending. "Clarence was slightly distressed by the outcome of the date." *picture of Clarence flying over the Despair Event Horizon*
    • Also parodied in the Best Ending. "All in all, Clarence was somewhat pleased with the outcome of the evening." *picture of Clarence in bed with the girl with a giant grin on his face*
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can jump on Clarence's pet cat, pet dog, and even his own mom and dad (and then eat their still-beating hearts for sustenance.) The game lampshades it, of course.
  • Wrap Around: Some pits will do this. Lampshaded, of course;
    "Sometimes, space just all like warps in on itself, y'know?"
  • You Bastard!: Parodied.
    "Looks like Cuddles, your cat, is free of its regular confinement! Why not put the fluffy bugger out of its misery of coexistence with you, you heartless monster? Go on, just hop on its skull. It'll crack like an egg."