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Video Game / DLC Quest

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DLC Quest is a satirical 2012 Indie Game for PC, Apple Macintosh, and Xbox Live Arcade that takes Downloadable Content to its logical extreme. In this game, everything needs to be purchased. Including things like "Pause" and "Walk left".

Visit the game's homepage here.

Naturally, in keeping with the parody of shameless consumerism in modern video games, there is a Mission-Pack Sequel: Live Freemium or Die, which sends Player on an all-new quest to collect coins and spend them on even more DLC (oh, and save some villagers from a monster or something).

A sequel of sorts was released in 2017 that parodies shameless consumerism even further: Loot Box Quest.


This game contains examples of:

  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "That bad guy just stole Princess MacGuffin! You have to rescue her! Also, he murdered your uncle! You must get revenge! I think he might have peed in the town's water supply too! ...That seems a bit less important now."
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The bad ending.
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb: Yeah, pretty much everything in this game is Lampshaded in one way or another.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Your horse arrives just in time to save the day! Hopefully you've bought that horse armor DLC pack!
  • Blatant Lies: "This is a dead end."
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Buy DLC to skip the grinding! Buy DLC to trade your sword for a gun! Buy DLC to get armor for your horse! Etc.
  • Chekhov's Gag: The horse armor. Not just a shout-out! It turns out your horse comes to the rescue in the final battle, and if it's not wearing the armor, the bad guy will easily kill it and then kill you.
  • Advertisement:
  • Cliffhanger: When entering the boss room for first time, credits roll. Of course, you can buy the ending DLC pack.
  • Cosmetic Award: Called "Awardments".
  • Deconstruction Game: Of overreliance on Downloadable Content.
  • Double Jump: Has to be bought, of course.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Defied. One NPC asks you to perform several mundane quests for him. You say "No."
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: As the trailer puts it:
    "DLC = Downloadable content. Quest = Quest."
  • Excuse Plot: Parodied. The opening cutscene shows you and a princess—helpful arrows will point out which is which—as she is kidnapped by a bad guy, also identified with a helpful arrow. Finally, the bad guy grabs the princess and runs away, and another arrow helpfully provides a label saying "Motivation".
    • Parodied further in that while this quest does exist, in practice the game is ultimately about you collecting coins so that you can get more DLC which enables you to collect more coins so you can get more DLC...
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: One DLC is a zombie pack, described as "This really doesn't really fit, but our marketing department said every game needs zombies."
  • Fanservice: Mocked with the 5 coin swimsuit DLC that changes every single characters clothes for the rest of the game. (Everyone is an 8-bit sprite, including the player and the princess.)
  • Fight Woosh: Right before the random encounter. It's lampshaded, of course.
  • Follow the Money: Coins. Which occasionally form the shape of a helpful arrow to point you in the right direction.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: The two shopkeepers are exactly alike. When you meet the second one, you question him on it, and he claims you've met his long-lost brother.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: Achievements are called "Awardments" in-game, though in the Steam version, the Steam achievement popups still say "achievement".
  • Level Grinding: Parodied with literal grinding—you have to grind a sword on a grindstone 10,000 times before you can use it. But you'll probably want to buy the DLC to skip that.
  • Joker Immunity: Exaggerated, Parodied, and Exploited. The bad guy is well aware that you can't kill him (because if you did, they wouldn't be able to make a sequel) and he rubs it in your face. In fact, you can shoot him in the chest and he survives, seemingly without a scratch.
  • Long-Lost Relative: The Hand Wave for the Inexplicably Identical Individuals.
  • MacGuffin: Lampshaded. The princess is named "Princess MacGuffin".
  • Memetic Mutation: Rather viciously parodied in-universe with Lamp, the town 'comedian' in Live Freemium or Die, whose 'jokes' basically consist of witlessly regurgitating various pop culture and video game memes ("It gets a laugh, like, a third of the time."), much to Player's frustration whenever you interact with him. Once you've interacted with him enough times, you can buy DLC which results in him dying from being repeatedly shot with arrows.
    Player: Looks like he took an arrow ... to the knee. And to the face. And several to the back. Yep, that'd do it.
  • Metroidvania: There's backtracking involved.
  • Microtransactions: The premise of the game is that it's a satire of this model.
  • Multiple Endings: There's a good ending if you bought the horse armor and a bad ending if you didn't.
  • Nice Hat: The top hat DLC. Yeah, its a waste of 5 coins, but you look so spiffy after buying it!
  • Only Sane Man: Player just wants to get on with his quest, but is continually exasperated by all the crippling DLC limitations, pointless Fetch Quests and complete morons he has to deal with.
  • Product Placement: Parodied. During the second game, BUY POP billboards appear everywhere (you can pay for making them go away, which just replaces them with advertising for the studio which made the game), and there is a POP ZONE - BROUGHT TO YOU BY POP area.
  • Random Encounters: Parodied. There's one random encounter, and it happens in a fixed place at a fixed time. When they said it was "Random", what they really meant was that the character you encounter is named "Random".
  • Real Is Brown: Parodied with the High Definition Next Gen Pack which does nothing but making everything brown and pale. It references the trope name in its flavor text.
  • Save the Princess: The goal of the first game.
  • Sequel Snark: "That was pathetic! How do you expect them to make a sequel if you killed the badguy?"
  • Shout-Out:
  • Troll: There's a sign near the troll saying "No solicitors", and when the player realises he needs a better weapon, the troll responds, "Problem?"
  • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Coins in this game are large.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: Actually grinding at the grindstone manually without buying the DLC leaves you with some extra cash, which you can use to buy things other than the Double Jump Pack when it's needed to get enough coins to actually finish the game. Soon you will have no money to even buy the pack and be unable to access the ending.
  • Up to Eleven: The DLC practices. All in the name of Deconstruction of course.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You get an awardment for killing all sheep and humans in the game, including the shopkeepersnote . This becomes a plot point in Live Freemium or Die.
  • Voice of Dramatic: The narrator in the trailer does his best.
  • Wall Jump: Takes the place of the double jump in the second part.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Parodied. The first thing you have to do is buy the ability to move left and jump.


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