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Video Game / Fantasy Quest

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In the Fall of 1991, Sam Stoddard wrote an adventure game for consoles using BASIC programming. Seven years later, the game was released to the general public, now with graphics and playable with a mouse.

The game bills itself as a "twist on the old 'save the princess' plot" - you begin the game with "save the princess" as your sole, vague objective, but your actual goal turns out a little different.

In September of 2002, Fantasy Quest 2 came out. The sequel, taking place 20 years after the original, allegedly lets you save dozens of princesses, and is at least half parody.

Both games are playable online at Adventure Games Live alongside a companion parody newspaper.

The Fantasy Quest series provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: The sequel and Fantasy News Network exist largely to parody the original game, and Interactive Fiction tropes in general.
  • Anachronism Stew: Modern and fantasy elements are mixed together. Examples include the tractor in the farm, and the castle which has a butter churn, cauldron, microwave oven, and walk-in refrigerator in its kitchen and a modern bathroom.
  • Artifact of Doom: Parodied with the Golden Cufflink of Fire.
  • Ascended Meme: The second game is pretty much this in its entirety; it was born from a discussion on the RinkWorks chat boards where somebody meant to refer to Enchanted Forest 2 (another game hosted on the site) and accidentally typed Fantasy Quest 2, prompting everyone to start talking about scenarios from the then-fictitious game (several of which made it into the real game).
  • Broken Bridge: Most puzzles take this form, including one that's a literal broken bridge. (In the sequel, a modern suspension bridge has replaced it.)
  • But Thou Must!: Parodied in the second game when you're given a choice of choosing two out of any ten potions, but the game refuses to let you take anything other than the red and green ones, providing various excuses for why you wouldn't want that one if you try to take any of them.
  • Butt-Monkey: The poor Indian Runs-With-Scissors. It starts with a single injury that you heal. A later one needs a unicorn's help. It turns out that he suffers 34 injuries a year simply by sitting in the open and now faces false insurance fraud charges.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The small silver coin which you can find in the very first area of the second game isn't used until the final Boss Battle.
  • Cool Crown: Despite the crown's magic properties, the game just says, "All right. You got the 'Crown of Destiny' or something. Happy?"
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Hes Ahkia.
  • Curse Escape Clause: In the first game, you meet a dog. It's not till the second, set 20 years later, that you learn he's a cursed man, and if you only fed him right off, you would have broken the curse.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first game is this for Adventure Games Live as a whole, as it was written several years before any of the other games; it features a much more basic storyline, simpler writing and less of an objective.
  • Empty Room Psych: Inevitably appears in the second game as one of the many, many Interactive Fiction tropes it spoofs.
    You're beginning to think this is one of those useless filler areas.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The angry dwarf's name is Mr. Snorri "Fruitloop" Throfssonsson
  • Forced Transformation: Than dog you kept throwing a stick at? Turns out it's a guy under a curse, and he calls you an asshole for not helping him sooner.
  • Fortune Teller: The Soothsayer, who demands gold for any assistance. She's back in the second game, this time demanding even more gold and gleefully lampshading her general uselessness.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • At some points, you need to do arbitrary actions multiple times before something happens. Makes sense when you're fishing, but who would have thought to repeatedly stall the black cat until the giant rabbit appears out of nowhere to crush him (but only if you fed the rabbit a carrot first)?
    • So many people were unable to figure out how to get past the cyclops in the second game that Sam Stoddard had to add a clue to the hints page. He was very surprised by this, as he thought the puzzle was an incidental part of the game, and admitted he wasn't sure why so many people were getting stuck on it.
  • Heroic Fantasy
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Openly parodied by the second game, which says a ladder is too large to fit in the room it's currently in before casually noting that you put it in your pocket, and allowing you to carry up to 20 onions at a time.
  • Killer Rabbit: The gigantic bunny rabbit, who's even more powerful than the gigantic black cat. You later have to fight the carnivorous giraffe!
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: The other people in the land interpret your actions as a wide-scale theft spree.
  • Magical Land: It's the "magical land of Fantasy"! No word on just how you got there or exactly where you go afterward.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Apparently, the sweet girl you let out of prison is an insane killer who will return to evil.
  • Non Standard Game Over: Destroying the fishing boat in the first game before you've done everything you need with it doesn't kill you, but ends the game anyway as it's now impossible to win.
    • Attempting to kill the gnome for no real reason gives you a What the Hell, Hero? and promptly ends the game out of fear for what you'd do to the princess.
    • Dying on the rapids chase in the sequel rewinds time to the beginning of the sequence. The rapids chase is in fact an Unwinnable by Design Red Herring which requires you to think outside the box, and rewinding time is necessary as a standard game over usually only allows you to undo the fatal move.
  • Noodle Incident: Millie the Silly's "Baconslicer Incident."
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: When you enter the volcano, you come face to horns with a monster and cant leave till you've taken him down.
  • Riddling Sphinx: A Sphinx asks you a riddle. Unless you're playing the original, console game, you get to choose your answer from a list, so this is one of the game's easiest portions.
  • Sad Clown: The poor guy has no nose!
  • Save the Princess: The synopsis itself promises a subversion.
  • Schmuck Bait: Some of the suicidal options.
  • Self-Deprecation: The second game, written well over a decade after the original and with the benefit of hindsight, mocks a number of the unlikely or unexplained aspects of the original.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: "It has fallen upon you to find this evil overlord, absquatulate with the Golden Cufflink of Fire..."
  • Text Parser: The area with the ogre and the bridge, and the Sphinx, in the original game originally used this. However, Adventure Games Live only uses a menu-based system, so the two areas had to be altered for it (the Sphinx's riddle had to be removed entirely, and if you fool around with it enough eventually the game will tell you this).
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Probably shouldn't leave those passwords on notes nailed to trees.
  • Threatening Shark: If you go swimming too far, a shark will eat you.
  • Too Dumb to Live: You, if you choose. "Bang your head on the rocks"? Yeah, sure.
  • Unicorn: It heals. And it loves carrots.
  • You Killed My Father: In the sequel, the vampire's wife is understandably upset you killed her husband.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Quite literally.