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Video Game / Graffiti Kingdom

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From left to right: Tablet, Palette (top), Pastel (bottom), Prince Pixel

Graffiti Kingdom is a 2004 PlayStation 2 game by Taito Corporation and Garakuta Studio, with music by Yasunori Mitsuda. The game is a spiritual sequel to Magic Pengelnote , both in that it was created by the same companies and in that they share the same major gimmick—they allow you to draw your own creatures. While Magic Pengel played it in an RPG Mons style, Graffiti Kingdom instead uses it for a Platform Game with a combat focus. Instead of sealing the creatures you create and releasing them when it's time for them to fight, your drawings become forms Pixel can take, more or less free to run, pounce, and fight through the game's stages.

Graffiti Kingdom follows the story of Prince Pixel, who, while wandering around his family's castle one day, comes across a Graffiti Wand, a tool allowing its user to bring drawings to life. In his playing around with it, he awakens its previous owner, a girl turned dog called Pastel, as well as the Devil—who may or may not be like that devil—who proceeds to unleash his minions and power upon Pixel's unsuspecting kingdom, transforming the castle and nearby lands into his own creation and taking the human inhabitants as slaves. As it turns out, the two of them were sealed inside a drawing together by Pastel herself, and since Pixel broke that seal, well, it's his job to battle the Devil, have him re-sealed, and save his parents and people with the power of the hand-me-down Graffiti Wand.

Has a character page that's currently under construction.

This game provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: Niss, Easel, Telepin, Deskel, Acryla... and Carleton. Huh.
  • Affably Evil: A number of the demons seem to be pretty friendly in themselves. Tablet almost suggests late in the game that they are only really evil for the sake of it or because evil and demons are automatically associated. Even the Big Bad is pretty blasé... that is, after you beat him.
  • Anime Hair: The colors on some demons go without saying, but what of Tablet's massive hairspike?
  • Art Initiates Life: The concept the game revolves around.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Enemies generally do not have a good grasp of ledges, and may wander off platforms on their own accord, which can lead to some amusing sights in areas with pits or lava.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Some of the more talented veterans of this game can make some very impressive creatures to look at, but sometimes the engineering put into making a creature look and function the way it does comes at the expense of the finished project having access to certain moves that would make it useful in the actual gameplay.
  • Barrier Maiden: Pastel.
  • Breath Weapon: A type of attack for your own creatures and enemies, notably the Mega Breath used by Tablet in his wyvern form.
  • Broken Bridge: Bridges to worlds take the forms of rainbows that only appear if you've gotten a key from the previous world's boss. And naturally, the Devil can only be reached once you've taken every boss' key.
  • Cain and Abel: Tablet and Palette seem way less than fond of each other.
  • The Cameo:
    • Reimu Hakurei appears in the game under the name of "Flying Maiden". Makes sense since ZUN was involved in the development of the game.
    • Also, you can find a Pengel card in the final level.
    • A Space Invader is also obtainable in all its pixellated glory.
    • Bub and Bob are available in this same sense. So is Mog from Super Puzzle Bobble.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Tablet does this in his face-off with Pixel after becoming the new Devil.
  • Collector of Forms: This is the nature of the Graffiti Wand; the more its wielder uses it, the more forms they're able to take. By transforming into an enemy temporarily, Pixel can learn its attacks, and by defeating it, he has a chance of getting a card that will give him permanent access to that enemy's form.
  • Cute Bruiser: Telepin may look cute, but he's just as formidable as the other top demons.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In this case, the Devil.
  • Death Mountain: The Wind of Pan Ravine, a canyon level.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Tablet and Pixel. To people who haven't played before, they're universally mistaken for girls. The skirts and female voice actors do not help.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Telepin never opens his eyes.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Devil Palace gets a nice dramatic introduction. All you can see of it until entering the place is its huge, spooky silhouette, along with one of the Devil himself looming over it.
  • Exposition Fairy: Pastel, though Pixel usually isn't listening.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The main elements of Graffiti creature attacks, as well as Palette's triple-shot attack.
  • Flunky Boss: A few, most clearly Carleton and his Wannabees. Since the flunkies are exclusive to the boss fights, it's possible to miss out on collecting their Graffiti Cards until the bosses can be refought post-credits.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampires: The game ends with Pixel refusing to re-seal the Devil and his underlings and leaving them to integrate and live among humans under the implicit promise that he'll give another whooping to any one of them tries anything again. Judging by the final cutscene and the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue montage accompanying the credits, it actually works out pretty well for everyone involved.
  • Gotta Collect Them All: Optional. You can gather cards of the graffiti creatures you fight, and once you've collected them, you can use them yourself, mini-versions of the bosses included.
  • Giggling Villain: Telepin, especially when you fight him.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Mt. Here and There is a pretty literal example of the trope's very name, being a mountain with some ice-themed rooms and some fire-themed rooms— though it is made at least partially of cardboard. The ice side and fire side are even near-perfect mirror images of each other in places. Also, there's a Jungle Japes portion in the middle for some reason.
  • Idiot Hero: Pixel. Pretty much every conflict in the game is caused by his intense Cutscene Incompetence. He lampshades it once, when Pastel nags him about not knowing where to go.
    Pixel: Where's the fun in thinking BEFORE you do something?
  • One-Winged Angel: Each boss has an alternate form they use in battle, presumably a Graffiti form they shift into between their introductory cutscene and fight.
  • Level Ate: Palette's level is made primarily out of sweets, with her coliseum being located atop a cake.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • Niss, Telepin and Carlton's names seem to break the Theme Naming pattern. However, in the original Japanese version, their names were Varnish, Turpentine and Carton (a play on the word "Cartoon"), respectively. Either the translators didn't want to use their actual names, or they didn't bother translating them at all and just decided to use what the names vaguely sounded like in the raw Japanese dialogue for the English version.
    • In the original Japanese version, Easel's one quirk was that when he spoke, he was obnoxious and often switched between speaking in Japanese and English, explaining why Pixel thought he was a "weirdo". Understandably, this wouldn't make much sense when translated to English, so they just made him stereotypically Western instead.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The very beginning of the game, where Pixel inadvertently frees the Devil by messing with the Graffiti Wand.
  • Pinball Zone: There's one inside "The Go-Go Bowing Road".
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Telepin, a high-ranking demon, is a pink rabbit in a kimono with a Bubbles-esque voice.
  • Royal Brat: The Devil's kids, though Palette is the only really bratty one.
  • Satan: The Big Bad of the game is known as "The Devil", though his real name is Medium. Whether or not he's supposed to be the equivalent to the devil is unclear, as the game only established him as the head demon.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Devil was sealed away underneath Canvas Kingdom by the Graffiticians long ago. The plot kicks off when Pixel unseals him.
  • Swiss-Army Hero: Pixel can have up to three Graffiti forms at his command at one time, and can use his Graffiti Wand to take the form of any demon he encounters. This opens the way to a lot of diversity.
  • Some Dexterity Required: Drawing creatures: Easy. Drawing creatures well: Tough.
  • Talking Animal: Pastel the dog-like creature, who keeps claiming to really be a human girl. Which she is.
  • Theme Naming: In this case, art-related names: Pixel, Pastel, Tablet, Palette, Easel, Deskel, Acryla, and Medium. Niss, Carleton, and Telepin don't follow the theme due to translation errors.
  • Tickle Torture: This is how Tablet punishes Acryla, but promises to stop as long as she does not reveal his true motives to Palette. Unfortunately, he chose to tickle her midsection, unaware that Pixel was watching the entire time. You can imagine what he had to explain. They don't buy it.
  • Toy Time: The Cannon of Block Valley, a bright toy box-like level, with most of the present demons resembling children's toys.
  • Tsundere: Pastel, though you can't exactly blame her for being annoyed with the Idiot Hero.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: Graffiti users, as well as demons.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Constantly, especially at the beginning. Pixel's kind of an asshole. A particularly amusing example comes up when Pastel is kidnapped. After having spent so much time together, it seems that the duo may actually begin getting along and caring about one another. Pixel's reaction? "Whatever." Pastel was not happy.