Reynold: And CANDY!
Wren: It's about showing the world what you truly are.
It's Halloween night in suburbia, and twin siblings Wren and Reynold are going trick-or-treating. Mom puts one sibling in charge (while the other gets stuck with the lame candy corn costume), and they saunter forth in pursuit of sweets.
But one house doesn't go exactly as planned. Where the kids expect a dorky grown-up with candy for the taking, a hideous monster pops out the door and abducts one of them! It seems that a horde of Grubbins have invaded Auburn Pines under the orders of a Hot Witch named Dorsilla. Out to steal every lollipop, jellybean and jujube in town, they mistook your brother or sister for a huge chunk of candy corn. It's up to you to save your other half. Not out of love - but out of fear of getting grounded!
Costume Quest is the first of four titles from Double Fine for which Tim Schafer took a backseat to the most trusted members of his team. This game is from the imagination of Tasha Harris, former Pixar animator and Lead Animator of the creatures in Brütal Legend.
In this simple old-school RPG themed around Halloween, the player goes on quests to find their kidnapped ally and save Halloween...by trick-or-treating. You must visit each house in the area and knock. If it's an adult, he or she will reward you with candy. If it's a monster looting the house, a battle encounter begins.
During a battle, for no reason other than Rule of Cool, whatever costume you are wearing transforms you into a massive, Kaiju-sized version of what your costume was supposed to represent. You start off in a blue cardboard box that's supposed to be a robot, so what happens when you transform? You become a Voltron-esque, missile-blasting mech! Attacking and defending is performed with well timed Action Commands, like those seen in Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario, Shadow Hearts and Penny Arcade Adventures.
Outside of battle, players explore the neighborhood in search of new houses and costumes; there are eleven outfits in all, most of which are built from scratch. Each costume consists of three household materials, such as cloth or rope, and an instructional blueprint. Finding all the pieces yields your snazzy handmade digs, which unlock both combat skills and "Exploration Abilities" for reaching new areas.
Candy is the game's currency and can be used to purchase Battle Stamps. These helpful stick-on accessories can power up stats, enable Status Effects, or unlock unique single-use abilities in combat.
The game initially released in October of 2010 for XBLA and PSN. A DLC expansion, "Grubbins on Ice", which was a follow up with a Christmas theme, came out in December of 2010. In October 2011, a PC version was released through Steam and included both the original game and the DLC as one package. As of May 2013, the game has been ported to Mac and Linux as well.
A sequel was released in October 2014. In it, Wren and Reynold have to go through time to stop candy-hating Depraved Dentist Dr. Orel White, who intends to destroy Halloween forever.
There is a also a graphic novel, Invasion of the Candy Snatchers by Zac Gorman.
The Costume Quest games provide examples of:
- Action Commands: The combat is ripped straight out of Super Mario RPG, Shadow Hearts and Penny Arcade Adventures.
- Adults Are Useless: Hilariously lampshaded every possible chance there is. At least one grown-up has seen the evil beasts himself - and thinks they're just teenagers.
- And You Were There: The twins' parents have the same models as Drusilla and Dorian, with different clothes.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Reynold, especially in "Grubbins on Ice". Ooh, look! A quarter!
- Art Shift: In the field, the game uses a very simple, cartoony art style. In battle, the combatants are depicted as slightly more realistic - the player characters becoming their costumes, and the monsters becoming more intimidating and ugly. It's the typical difference between American animation and certain art styles of American comic books.
- Back from the Dead: The Unicorn's special.
- Becoming the Costume: In battle characters become a giant superpowered version of their costume for no reason other than Rule of Cool and Rule of Fun.
- Big Bad: Big Bones.
- Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: You can encounter Yetis and wear a Yeti costume in the DLC.
- Big Eater: Again, Big Bones.
- Beef Gate: The return of BoJonn in the Arcade.
- Blush Sticker
- Boring, but Practical: The starting Robot costume is one of the few to provide a bonus to your attack power, has a really strong special attack that does high damage to every enemy and does further damage over time, and most importantly, allows you to dash around on roller skates when exploring. You'll rarely have reason not to equip it on your lead character.
- Broken Bridge: Several, usually in the form of locked gates and stubborn guards.
- Brought Down to Normal: At several points the characters end up either getting their costumes destroyed or stolen, and as such, have to spend a few points rebuilding or building a new costume to get the previous ones back.
- Calling Your Attacks: Several, and several parodies.Player: I oughta give you a taste of my Rocket Fist!
Dorsilla: What's that? I couldn't hear you over that sudden tornado. [snaps fingers]
NPC in Dragon costume: Fire Breath! Fire Breath! Why aren't you burning from my Fire Breath?
- Classical Movie Vampire: Take a wild guess.
- Cliffhanger: Grubbins on Ice ends with the kids going through the portal to return home, only to end up in a void-like dimension containing even more portals.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Core game mechanic. In an enemy encounter, Wren and Reynold transform into a building sized version of what their primitive, handmade costume is supposed to represent. Here's a list by category of use.
- Cryptic Background Reference: Repugia.
- Deal with the Devil: Dorsilla with Big Bones.
- Defeat Means Friendship: First the Grubbins, then the Trowbogs, then the Crestwailers.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Losing a battle just means you have to try again.
- Door to Before: The Sarcophagi allow you to teleport back to previous areas.
- The Dragon: Dorsilla.
- Dual Boss: The final fight of Grubbins on Ice pits you against Big Bones and Araxia.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Charlie Blackmore appears in a secret cave in Repugia. So does an advertisement for the game he'll be appearing in.
- Enemy Civil War: You join one in Grubbins on Ice.
- Enemy Summoner:
- BoJonn is one until you destroy his megaphone.
- Subverted with Big Bones. In battle, sometimes he'll summon a trio of tough-looking monsters... and then eat them to fuel a powerful breath attack on one of the heroes.
- Evil Twin: Dorsilla.
- Expy: The Black Cat Costume is a Laser Panther without the purple streaks.
- Failed a Spot Check: The monsters mistake the costumes for walking, talking candy or food several times. They are also easily fooled by the hero wearing a Grubbin costume despite everyone else in the group clearly not dressing as Grubbins and your main character clearly being a small child.
- At the start of Grubbins on Ice, Reynold misses a huge glowing portal because he's distracted by a quarter that's just a few feet away from it.
- Felony Misdemeanor: Oh no! The villains are monsters trying to steal all the Halloween Candy!
- Fission Mailed: The first fight in the Grubbins on Ice DLC is unwinnable, and losing it drops you into the main plot.
- Foil: Wren and Reynold = Drusilla and Dorian.
- For Science!: Lucy, constantly.
- Freudian Excuse: Some Repugians in the DLC will roar "I had a rough childhood!" before assaulting you.
- Generic Cuteness
- Giant Enemy Crab: The French Fries turns you into this. Yes, really. A giant crab with french fry legs, french fry pincers, and a french fry container shell. And it's actually pretty effective.
- Grim Reaper: Big Bones, an enormously fat Grim Reaper.
- G-Rated Drug: Candy. To Big Bones at least. "AHHHHHH! THAT'S THE SUGAR POPPA LIKES!!!"
- Halloween Game
- Halloweentown: Repugia.
- Hand Wave: Lampshaded. When the kids need to get down from the Ferris wheel, your character comes up with a brilliant plan. Immediate cut to the kids on the ground. Bonus lampshading with fourth wall damage when a character explicitly mentions suspending disbelief.Everett: I can't believe you thought of a way down that was so simple and practical.
- Hawaiian-Shirted Final Boss: Big Bones' robe has a tropical floral pattern on it, to further the theme of him being a Fat Bastard.
- A Hell of a Time: One monster says Dorsilla is so bad that they don't want her to return to Repugia.
- Healing Hands: The Statue of Liberty's power is to do this through sheer Patriotism.
- Homage: Tasha Harris says the game is inspired from many things. The isometric diagonal view of the town is from Earthbound, the monsters are inspired from Labyrinth, the art is inspired from Hayao Miyazaki and Wind Waker, and the whole game is a love letter to Halloween and costumes (in particular, handmade ones.)
- Hopeless Boss Fight: "Grubbins on Ice" starts you off fighting against three Level 14 Repugiarchs; at this point, it's impossible to be higher than Level 10. You actually can win the fight if you hit all the prompts and catch some luck with the enemy's choice of targets, but Failure Is the Only Option and it dumps you into the next scene as if you lost. (You still receive a hefty experience bonus if you win, though.)
- Hot Witch: Dorsilla, in universe, and she boasts it. After her defeat, she wonders if her failure to conquer the world is because she's too pretty.
- How Unscientific!: Lucy does this a lot.
- Humongous Mecha: The robot costume.
- Idiot Hero: Reynold leans to this in the DLC.
- I Got Old Marzipan
- Invisible to Normals: The monsters seem to be somewhere between this and triggering a Weirdness Censor. Most adults don't notice them at all, and those that do assume they're teenagers or natural phenomena.
- Ironic Echo: Dorsilla uses a recording of the main character to tear the sibling away from him/her. Dorian uses a recording of his sister to expose her plot to usurp Big Bones. "That's inadmissible!"
- Kaiju: The battles become these. The various silly goblins transform into massive, uglier monsters, and the children transform into giant, more lifelike versions of what their costumes are supposed to represent.
- Kids Are Cruel: The gang of mummy children. But it turns out the gang leader is the only one keeping their violent tendencies in check. This is played for laughs.
- Kids Prefer Boxes: The first costume.
- La Résistance: You help out the monsters against their oppressive new government in Grubbins On Ice. They even dress like Che Guevara. Citizens wonder why, despite being members of the resistance movement, you lack beards and berets.
- Lean and Mean: Dorsilla reaches Noodle People levels during her boss battle.
- Also the Pumpkin and Vampire costume look pretty scrawny and wicked, but they are actually on the heroes' side.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Everett does this the most. Or maybe he just really likes Dungeons & Dragons.Everett: A mall? This looks more like a dungeon! Which I am totally prepared for! Hey look! A dungeon map!
Everett: He just took a natural 20 to the face and didn't take ANY damage!
- Life Drain: The Vampire's special.
- Lighter and Softer: The difficulty is easier, and the humor is more low key than Double Fine's previous works.
- Limit Break: Called the Combat Ability, it's measured by a circle-shaped energy meter that fills up in three turns.
- Lovecraft Country: A very cutesy version.
- Lovecraft Lite
- Macross Missile Massacre: The Robot's special.
- Magic Versus Science: Lucy refuses to call the monsters as such, and adamantly believes they are aliens.
- Manipulative Editing: Dorsilla uses this to drive the siblings apart.
- Meaningful Name: My Pretty Panacea. Not only is it a Punny Name reference to My Little Pony, but Panacea means a cure-all or wonder drug. The Unicorn's special attack is a healing spell.
- The Medic: The Statue of Liberty and Unicorn costumes. The Vampire can heal the party as well, despite being an attack-based class.
- Mook Medic: In every species of Repugian monster. Grubbins, Trowbogs and Crestwailers each have their own healing class.
- Middle-Management Mook: Bojonn.
- Mordor: A spooky world from which the monsters come from appears in gateways around town.
- No Fourth Wall: All references to content locked away in the trial version are lampshaded.Perhaps the full version will be a bit kinder to the fourth wall.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Your brilliant plan for getting down from a stuck ferris wheel. See Hand Wave above.
- Parental Bonus: Invoked Trope. Tasha Harris wanted the game to have the appeal that Pixar (her former and now current employer) applies to all their work, in which the game would be simple and charming enough for children, but also appealing to adults. There are plenty of jokes for adults, covering such edgy material as globalization, prescription drugs, American history, and more.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: *lightning* TRICK OR TREAT!
- Punny Name: Big Bones, the Big Bad, is a ''big boned Grim Reaper.
- Recurring Boss: Bojonn.
- Rule of Cool: The magic of the costumes is never explained, but who cares?
- Patriotic Fervor: The Statue of Liberty's Combat Ability, and winning animation.
- Save Point: Telephone boxes let you call the police and tell them about the monsters. They will sigh and tell you "your report has been logged."
- The DLC changes the dialogue for the boxes so that you're now calling the Trowbog Historical Society. Because how else are they going to know if history is happening?
- Sequel Hook: The DLC leaves the main characters lost in a hub of portals to different worlds.
- Shout-Out: The Unicorn Costume. Its special attack is called My Pretty Panacea.
- The music in the mall camping shop is the camp music from Psychonauts. The cardboard cutouts outside the shop are a cougar and a bear, just like the ones roaming Whispering Rocks in the game.
- The incantation used to open the Gate in the third area is Zanotto Vodello Loboto.
- Two more Psychonauts references are on the first page of the trading card list: The first candy listed is "Raz-Ums", named after the protagonist. On the same page, there is a type of cotton candy/candy floss that resembles the afro of Jerk Jock Bobby Zilch.
- The Pumpkin Costume's battle form is ripped straight out of The Nightmare Before Christmas.
- The Disembodied Hand Stamp upgrades into the Disembodied Six-Fingered Hand Stamp.
- The cowboy warning the public about the dangers of candy? He works for an apple company.
- "Like the kid in the $600 Banana is gonna follow the kid in the $20 costume. COME ON!"
- A mission in a cornfield maze is called Children of the High Fructose Corn Syrup.
- Orzo the human cannonball makes references to the Fettucini Brothers.
- Finding a girl hiding in a witch costume causes her to shout "Oh, what a world! What a world!"
- It may be a stretch, but there might be a reason why the DLC for this Halloween game is Christmas-esque.
- An incredibly obscure one: One of the girls dressed as a witch in the mall is named April, and refuses to do love potions "for charity cases". There's a Ray Bradbury short story called "The April Witch" which is about a young witch trying to spread love around out of charity.
- The Robot Costume's battle form somewhat resembles Xabungle in color scheme, wings and overall appearance although both of its attacks are pretty different.
- Shrunk in the Wash: In the DLC the yeti monster turns out to be a guy in a suit; the reason why the yeti hasn't been seen is that the suit shrunk in the wash. Fortunately, it's shrunk to the correct size of a 4th grader.
- Sinister Scythe: Big Bones' weapon. It's also where he hides his emergency candy stash.
- Status Buff: Different abilities or Battle Stamps grant Ability Up, Protect, Regeneration, or the ability to evade all attacks for one turn.
- Status Effects: Poison, Burn, and Stun. Different kinds of attacks inflict various degrees of each.
- What the Hell, Hero?: The player makes a grudging but heroic speech to Dorsilla's voicemail. She clips out the heroic parts for her own purposes.
- Wicked Witch: Dorsilla.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: Metxel crashes his Candy-dozer into two mooks in the middle of a fight.Metxel: Now look what you made me do! One of them was my brother-in-law!
Wren: Which one?
Metxel: I don't know! They all look the same to me! Just like humans!
- Woman Scorned: When Big Bones discovers Dorsilla's plot to usurp him, he breaks the deal with her and tell her to get lost. Not happy at all, she obeys, but not before boosting the heroes' power so they'll kick his ass.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Lucy, big time. Spouts a lot of science fiction (and science fact) in a magical setting.
- You Mean "Xmas": Yeti Fest is a cross between Christmas and Groundhog Day.
- Zip Mode: The starting (robot) costume's special ability is a dash mode, allowing you to rocket around the neighborhood and save time. It's also necessary to get over ramps.
- Abusive Parents: "Psychobitch" is still a too nice word to describe Orel's mother.
- Anticlimax: At least for the cliffhanger of the previous game's Grubbins On Ice. With the kids stranded in a portal network, this looks like it would lead into an adventure where they jump between worlds to find a way home... but the first portal they take happens to drop them into their neighborhood.
- After-Combat Recovery: Averted. You no longer regenerate all your health after battle; whatever damage you take is carried over to the next battle unless you visit the healing fountains in between.
- Animal-Eared Headband: Available as an upgrade for the pharaoh costume.
- Ascended Extra: The candy corn costume that was the cause of the sibling's kidnapping in the first game is here a real battle costume!
- The Atoner: Travis, the head of the mummy gang, seems to have matured a lot in 20 years. He even admits that he was a jerk as a kid.
- Bad Future: A world where "Overlord" Orel White has banned any trick-or-treating or candy consumption under penalty of martial law, enforced by clacking robotic teeth drones that patrol the city, and routinely ships off disobedient children to gruesome dental re-education centers.
- Bag of Spilling: All of your sweet costumes from the previous game disappear due to a time paradox once the plot gets rolling.
- The Big Easy: The past section takes place in an obvious No Communities Were Harmed version of New Orleans.
- The Cameo: Bee and Puppycat appear in the Top-Secret Warehouse, with Puppycat even making the same Vocaloid noises. The credits later thank Natasha Allegri.
- Call-Back: In Orel's fake Halloween warehouse, all the fake kids are painted in the costumes from the first game. Except for one, a Shout-Out to Raz from Psychonauts
- Clothes Make the Superman: Again. The new costumes include Candy Corn, Superhero, Clown, Pterodactyl, Thomas Jefferson, Wizard, Pharoah, Wolfman, Ghost, Hot Dog, and Solar System.
- Counter-Attack: You eventually gain the ability to counter enemy attacks. The timing is trickier than a standard block and requires some reading of enemies, but if you pull it off you greatly reduce the damage and deal some in return.
- Creative Closing Credits: They play as you explore Auburn Pines in the present and catch up with everyone there.
- Depraved Dentist: The Big Bad, Dr. Orel White (D.D.S.).
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The Solar System costume's Limit Break. A bunch of spaceships surround Earth and fire simultaneously, rendering it a blackened wasteland. Don't worry, all it does in-battle is massive damage to your enemies.
- Expy: Some of the new costumes borrow their out-of-battle movement abilities from the first game; the Wizard can light up areas like the Spaceman did and the Pharoah takes over sliding down ropes from the Pirate.
- Like some of the first games' costumes referenced other Double Fine games, the boys' version of the Superhero costume resembles Sweet Justice from Middle Manager of Justice, and its special attack is even named Sweet Justice. The girls' version, though with the same outfit and special attack, resembles Surge Protector from the same game.
- Future Me Scares Me: Kid!Orel's reaction to his adult self.
- Gender Bender: When Wren or Halley are wearing the Clown, Thomas Jefferson, Wizard or Wolfman costumes they have to transform into remarkably male looking characters to fight.
- Gendered Outfit: The Superhero is the only costume in the game who has male and female version.
- Guest Fighter: The PS3 and PS4 versions include LittleBigPlanet's Sackboy as an exclusive costume.
- Guest-Star Party Member: Three kids take the role of third PC during the game:
- Monty, a would-be gator tamer.
- Halley, Everett's and Lucy's daughter.
- Kid Orel.
- Immediate Sequel: The game begins right where the first game's DLC left off.
- Infinity +1 Sword: The Solar System costume. There's nothing in-game leading you to it and it requires you to pick up some other optional costumes, but it's extremely powerful, with very few drawbacks.
- Joke Character: The candy corn costume can't attack, as you'd expect from a giant inanimate piece of candy just sitting there. The only good it can do is serve as a damage sponge to deflect enemies' attention.
- Meaningful Name: Orel is a homonym of oral, and white is the desired color for teeth. It makes for a fitting name for a dentist.
- Official Couple: After being exceptionally flirty when they were little, Everett and Lucy are eventually revealed to have gotten married in the future. And to have a daughter.
- Playable Epilogue: While the credits roll, you can explore Auburn Pines in the present and talk to everyone here. That includes an explanation to the Wham Shot and an appearance of Zac Gorman.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: It's up to Wren and Reynold to fix the candy-less future Orel created.
- One of the Trowbogs, a dimwitted fellow with poor grasp of personal pronouns named Mongo, is tricked by the kids with a false Candygram.
- The Wizard costume is clearly inspired by Gandalf the Grey, complete with its upgraded form being white.
- A kid in a Devil costume at a crossroads challenges you to play his fiddle against your... clown horn, a reference to The Devil Went Down to Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band.
- The Wolfman costume references Teen Wolf, especially when upgraded. It also has the Thriller dance as its victory pose.
- The upgraded Ghost costume is green and ends up looking like Slimer from Ghostbusters.
- The Monument in the Future Square bears a resemblance to the Worker of Korea's Party Monument in North Korea, if only in the hands.
- Start of Darkness: Not only is Orel's miserable childhood revealed in the past, but we also see a young Big Bones, back when he was only a skeleton child and not an enormously fat Grim-Reaper-like ghost demon. His eyes even light up in the same way when wolfing down candy, hinting at the addiction which likely drove him into what he is now.
- This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: During the final fight against Orel, the Candy Corn costume can use its Limit Break: "Glisten", which causes Orel to lose his turn.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: In the intro, the kids note that they arrived back home at Halloween even though they left (in Grubbins on Ice) in the middle of winter. Lucy insists it can't have been time travel; it must have been temporal something-or-other.
- Wham Shot: The very end of the game, Halloween is saved, all is well that ends well... And a Grubbin comes in view.