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Video Game / Guacamelee!

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Guacamelee! is a heavily-stylized Metroidvania Lucha Libre Beat 'em Up for the PlayStation 3, PC and Play Station Vita developed by Drinkbox Studios. The game draws its inspiration from traditional Mexican culture and folklore. Guacamelee! builds upon the classic open-world Metroidvania style of games, by adding a strong melee combat component, a dimension switching mechanic, and cooperative same-screen multiplayer for the entire story. The game also blurs the boundaries between combat and platforming by making many of the moves useful and necessary for both of these. The game was released on April 9, 2013 in North American territories, just five days after the release date was announced. The Super Turbo Championship Edition version was announced later, and has been released for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Steam and Nintendo Switch.

The story consists of agave farmer Juan Aguacate being invited to the Día de los Muertosnote  festival to help out with the festivities and getting acquainted with an old childhood friend, El Presidente's daughternote . However, disaster strikes in the form of a lich named Carlos Calaca kidnapping her to use her as a virgin sacrifice for merging the World of the Living and the World of the Dead together to rule over them both. Despite his best attempts to stop him, Juan is swiftly slain by Calaca as El Presidente's daughter cries out his name...

Sometime later, Juan awakes in the World of the Dead, and after wandering about comes across a statue with a luchador mask on it. There, he meets a spirit named La Tostada who tells him that due to Calaca's meddling, the two worlds are in danger and that the mask appearing before him shows that he might be the one to stop him. Thus, Juan dons the mask and begins his journey to stop Calaca and rescue El Presidente's daughter.

Despite being an indie game, it was pushed fairly heavily on the Play Station Network due to being one of few games to fully support the Cross Play feature. Transferring saves from the Vita to/from the PS3 is relatively simple, and buying the game for one system also buys it for the other.

A sequel titled Guacamelee! 2 was released in 2018.

This juego provides examples of:

  • 100% Completion: There are Heart and Stamina upgrades, sidequests and chests everywhere. Finishing all of El Infierno's Challenges will net a 101% Completion.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: The Alebrije that chases Juan in the Rain Temple cannot be attacked directly. The only way to defeat it is to reach the end of the obstacle course, where a trap will drop the monster into a pit.
  • Affectionate Parody: Despite parodying Mexican culture by including pretty much every stereotype ever conceived by the United States, Guacamelee! is careful about getting each reference just right, and the game is as much about celebrating the culture as anything else.
  • Animal Motifs: Most of the techniques gained from the Choozo statues are named after some kind of animal, with the exception of the Double Jump, Olmec's Headbutt and the Dashing Derpderp (the Goat Hermit naming your techniques ran out of names and was beyond caring past the Dashing Derpderp ability.)
  • Antepiece: Each time you unlock a new platforming/movement upgrade, that same room as the Choozo Statue contains a platforming sequence where you are required to make use of your new move in order to proceed.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • When playing 2-player mode, one of the players can transform into a bubble at the touch of a button (to change back, the other player needs to punch the bubble.) This can eliminate the telepathy-level synchronization needed for two players to get past some of the more challenging platforming puzzles, as one player can hang back and let the other one do it at their own pace.
    • In the Tree Tops segment, there are several barrels containing healing orbs as there are also many spikes and saws along the way to the top. You WILL need them.
    • Falling into Grimy Water or bottomless pits will just put you back on the last safe platform you stood on, without dying or even losing health. Similarly, getting stuck in a wall when you shift dimensions pops you out without harm. These features make many (but not all) platforming challenges less frustrating and makes it more reasonable for you to stumble upon the various hidden areas as you don't really have to fear dying from exploring.
    • The Goat Climb and Goat Fly maneuvers double as a Rooster Uppercut and Dashing Derpderp respectively when it comes to breaking blocks or enemy shields.
    • The game auto-saves your progress the moment you half the boss HP of El Trio de la Muerte. If you die during their second phase, you will respawn at the nearest checkpoint but the boss fight will start on the second phase immediately when you retry fighting them.
  • Affably Evil: El Diablo, or Purple Pollo. He's always helpful and polite, mostly because he wants you to foil Calaca's plans that badly, and if you reach El Infierno he asks for your help once again. After aiding him with the trouble Calaca raised in El Infierno he makes joyful remarks about his job and offers his Diablo Suit.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Combo Chicken can teach you about fairly impressive combo attacks, but you're unlikely to ever use them outside of their one instance of training. For one thing, it can be hard enough to get the timing and button sequence down on a punching bag enemy that is stationary and doesn't fight back. Weaker enemies don't have enough health to make the combos really worth it, while harder enemies generally have shields, dimension phasing, or dodge moves that wouldn't really allow you to make use of extended combos anyway. And if that wasn't enough, the environment itself may work against you by making certain moves a bad idea (e.g. a frog slam when all you have are a few floating platforms). Basic attacks, throws, and short combos will probably carry you through most or all of the game.
  • Back from the Dead: The Mask resurrects Juan and allows him to exist in both realms, but he needs to wear it constantly. In the Golden Ending, the Mask, fully recharged by the Orbs of Chac Mool, sacrifices itself to truly resurrect Juan and El Presidente's daughter.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
  • Ballistic Bone: The red-serape'd skeletons throw these at you. Sometimes they throw one, sometimes three, but the little buggers are ALWAYS tough to avoid. And getting hit by one knocks you on your butt, or out of the air.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Plenty of speech is peppered with Spanish, and there are posters advertising "Gato Gruñón" ("Grumpy Cat") cat food with a stylized picture of Tardar Sauce.
  • Big Heroic Run: Invoked: The final corridor of the Great Temple is a series of screens that zoom in closer and closer to your character from a normal distance to an extreme closeup for appropriate dramatic effect. the subsequent room is filled with enemies that have much less health than normal.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The default ending has Juan defeat Calacas and save the world... at the cost of arriving too late to save El Presidente’s Daughter. In the end he gives up his resurrection and returns to the land of the dead to be with her. Subverted if you get the good ending where she ends up surviving and the two live happily ever after... at least until the sequel.
  • Boring, but Practical: Thanks to its Regenerating Health passive, the Pollo Luchador helps if you are constantly getting damaged by environmental hazards or Platform Hell sections, especially in secret rooms with chests.
  • Boss Subtitles: Boss battles are preceded by a colorful, flashing screen presenting the two combatants in a Mirrored Confrontation Shot as if it were a poster or commercial advertising a lucha libre match, sometimes including a note at the bottom such as "Special Guest: El Presidente's Daughter".
  • Bottomless Magazines: Subverted twice in your encounters with Flame Face. He'll stand there laughing and firing his guns at the ground until you advance the dialogue, but as soon as he turns his guns on Juan they both turn out to be empty. When you finally fight him as a boss the trope is played fully straight.
  • The Bro Code: The Goat Hermit promises that once you become bros, he won't hit on your mother. Maybe.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Three of the five/six optional Chac Mool altars test your skill at different aspects of the game:
    • First, say hello to Tree Tops, a lengthy gauntlet of platforming accessed through a blue block at the root of the Tule Tree. Every single special power you get from a Choozo Statue is needed, a load of stamina is needed, and a load of patience is needed.
    • Then, stay for dinner at la Caverna del Pollo (the Chicken Cavern) beneath Santa Luchita. A mine with three downwards shafts, each of them filled with enemy arenas of increasing difficulty. The third and final shaft, leading to the Chac Mool, throws the absolute toughest enemies of the game all at once at you.
    • And finally, say goodbye to your sanity at the Cueva de la Locura (the Cave of Madness), at the easternmost corner of the Sierra mountains. It consists of a gauntlet of Bottomless Pits with evil disappearing blocks that require split-second timing, memorization, pixel-perfect precision, and far more patience than the average Goat Hermit. And whether you fail at the beginning or the end (and you will) you must clear each room in one go.
    • El Infierno, chock full of trials that pushes the player's abilities to the limit from platforming to combat. Earning the Gold Medal in each room is a rage-inducing challenge, though you fortunately only need to collect ten of them to reach Chac Mool.
  • Bullfight Boss: Calaca himself. He attacks brutally and constantly, and can only be injured by avoiding his attack and countering with the correct special move.
  • Calacas: Ordinary dead people in the World of the Dead, Mooks, and the Big Bad are all living skeletons wearing traditional Mexican clothes.
  • Catastrophic Countdown: Exploders aren't typical Action Bombs in a sense that they are stationary aside from having color-coded shields as their gimmicks. But let just even one of them to tick past their countdown, the resulting explosion will damage your luchador regardless of your location on the area. Elite Exploders are much more durable, yet still retain the same 10-second cooldown before they explode, with even more damage. Finally, Dark Exploders are Glass Cannon enemies in that they require only one hit to kill, but will cause instant death on you if they explode.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: More like Infernal Bureaucracy. What we see of El Infierno is a huge law firm ("Devil's Advocates") full of skeletal accountants and clueless undead clerks. It even comes with broken elevators, vending machines and parody motivational posters with hangmen and skeletons!
  • Childhood Friend Romance: It's hinted that El Presidente's Daughter has been in love with Juan ever since they were kids.
  • Chupacabra: They take the form of large-headed flying lizards. Essentially, tiny dragons. And being a Metroidvania they are the resident Ledge Bats, especially on the platforming sections of Sierra Morena.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The colors of barriers in the environment and of enemy shields correspond to the same color of your special attacks. The uppercut is red, the headbutt is yellow, the Ground Pound is green, and the dash is blue.
  • Cool Mask: People simply have a lot more respect for luchadores than regular people. Juan got very little respect from the townspeople until he put on the mask.
  • Credits Gag: Most of the staff have quirky Mexican nicknames during the credits. One of them is El Ron Hubbard.
  • Creepy Doll: The creepiness of the dolls is downplayed by the art style, but in the canals there are occasionally mutilated dolls hanging from trees in the background. This is probably a reference to the real-life Isla de las Muñecas which is located in the Xochimilco canals.
  • Cursed with Awesome: When Carlos has you at his mercy, he turns you into a chicken. Which actually gives you access to entire areas and abilities that were previously out of your reach.
  • Dark World: The Land of the Dead is a relatively cheery version of a dark world. Despite everyone being dead and/or skeletons, they tend to carry on with their lives as if nothing's really changed. It ties into the game's Mexico-inspired setting, since death was not traditionally viewed as an absolute end, but rather as part of a cycle that involved life, birth, and re-birth.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: When you run out of health, you just respawn at the nearest checkpoint with full health (although you may have to retrieve some collectables again, since progress isn't saved after dying). In co-op, you just have to wait a small amount of time before you can respawn on the spot.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • Calaca and X'tabay turn The Devil into a chicken, and Calaca usurps his title as lord of hell.
    • The final boss becomes a monstrous creature and refers himself as a god of both worlds. Nevertheless, Juan/Tostada beats the crap out of him.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • The Skeleton Luchador outfit negates any means of recovery aside from checkpoints, however you'll have infinite stamina, which gives you freedom to spam your techniques all over the place. Thanks to this perk, it becomes very useful in boss battles, especially so against Carlos Calaca.
    • The Alebrije costume turns the wearer into a Glass Cannon being able to kill anything very fast; however, the wearer will also take a lot of damage if he/she gets hit by anything. That makes it especially useful to complete the challenge in El Infierno where Juan/Tostada is a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
  • Disc-One Nuke: In the STCE version of the game, all costumes are bought with a new, separate currency: silver. The amount you can get is limited, but even so if you hoard it and seek it out as much as possible in the early stages of the game, you can unlock some powerful costumes like the Skeleton Luchador or Diablo Suit before entering the Tule Tree. The latter is especially notable, as it could be considered a late-game Infinity +1 Sword in previous versions of the game.
  • Disney Death: El Presidente's Daughter seemingly dies during the Final Boss fight. But in the good ending, she comes back and wakes up with a smile on her face after Juan's mask breaks. In the bad ending, she actually dies.
  • Double Entendre: X'tabay mentions that Calaca's pet, Alebrije, is lonely and in need of some SERIOUSLY HEAVY PETTING. She immediately lampshades it:
    X'tabay: Hahahahahahahaha! Double entendres!
  • Downloadable Content: A costume pack, and El Diablo's Domain (Also known as El Infierno), a series of extra-tough challenge rooms that put your combat and platforming skills to the test. Both are included right off the bat in the Updated Re-release.
  • Dual-World Gameplay: The game shifts between the realms of the living and the dead, and there are platforms and enemies that only exist in one world (though enemies in the other world can still attack the player.)
  • Duel Boss: Jaguar Javier and Carlos Calaca. Unlike the previous two major bosses these two don't do any fancy trick like creating clones or calling for mooks for help. These fights are a pure test of your dexterity with your skills and dodging.
  • Eviler than Thou: The Big Bad became the way he is because of a Deal with the Devil. It didn't work out for the latter in the end.
  • Final Boss Preview: When Juan first tries to take on Calaca, the game shows the typical Versus Character Splash that pops up when a boss fight begins. Cue Calaca killing Juan with a single attack.
  • Final-Exam Boss: Jaguar Javier. While the other bosses in the game focus on mastering their attack patterns, to beat Javier you really need to have mastered the combat system.
  • First-Episode Resurrection: Juan dies in the first encounter with the Big Bad. Turns out the Land of the Living and Land of the Dead is a game mechanic.
  • Forced Transformation:
    • Carlos likes turning his foes into chickens, which eventually bites him in the ass when he does it to Juan/Tostada.
    • The Devil also decided that he prefers being a chicken than his normal form, even though he knows how to turn back (he's the one who teaches you).
  • Game Mod: User-created costumes are available for the PC versions of Gold and STCE from the Steam Workshop. A good number of them were even made by the game's developers.
  • The Ghost: El Presidente never actually appears in the game. Either he was absent when the events of the game went down or he was killed in the attack on his mansion.
  • Giant Mook: Los Gigantes, enormous skeletons whose Ground Pound attacks deal a lot of damage but they get tired easily and have their equally large heart exposed for all to see.
  • Godhood Seeker: At first, Calaca only wanted to get back at the Devil and reclaim his glory. By the time he has completed the ritual, though, he has shifted objectives to becoming god of the living and the dead.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Por supuesto. The game is set in Mexico, inspired heavily by Mexican culture, and treats such a cultural identity with the utmost respect and reverence. As such, characters regularly pepper their dialogue with Spanish words, and some entities are referred to only in Spanish, such as El Trio De La Muerte and the pet Alebrije that X'tabay is watching over.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: You can grab a weakened opponent and throw them in any direction that you wish, and they'll hit all other enemies along the way.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • One of the Chac Mool gateways is located underneath Juan's house. In order to access the crawl space, you need to shift into the world of the dead at the very bottom of the house, but you wouldn't know this without a guide of some serious curiosity as there isn't the usual sparkle effect that denotes when a wall doesn't exist in the other world.
    • The timed skull switch in the forest. It leads to one of the Chac Mool gateways, but to reach it in time you first have to figure out where the entrance to the path is (marked by a statue and a "not yet explored" smudge on the map), try and fail to open it, connect it to the skull switch, and finally realize that you can only get there fast enough by using Goat Fly on the hill the switch is under.
    • The chicken flight ability. Unlike every single other powerup in the game, you never get a fancy Item Get! screen or any explanation at all when unlocking it, instead just getting a nebulous "You feel lighter" message after getting enough pieces of the Mask. If you don't use your mighty chicken powers much you can go the rest of the game without knowing it's there.
  • Heart Container: For every three chunks of health or stamina upgrades you collect, the respective meter will increase.
  • He Is All Grown Up: Apparently, El Presidente's Daughter hasn't seen Juan in a while and is... impressed by what she sees.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The endings show that Jaguar Javier became one of Juan's friends after the events of the game. Of course, he never truly was on Calaca's side to begin with, he only worked for him because Calaca threatened to kill the Goat Hermit if he didn't.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Tostada apparently saved a town from an erupting volcano many years ago, making sure everyone escaped even as the lava overtook her. They still honor her to this day.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Carlos' neglect eventually drives X'tabay to your side.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Keep punching Jaguar Javier after you've defeated him and he'll drop quite a few cat-related puns on you.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Flame Face learned the hard way that the Devil doesn't like it when people cause pain and suffering to others. After all, that's his job.
  • I Have Your Wife: Jaguar Javier is only doing Calaca's bidding because the latter threatened to kill Javier's former master, the Goat Hermit.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Three of them.
    • The first is Diablo's Suit, which regenerates health when attacking enemies. Sure, it has less maximum health, but with health upgrades it's still a decent amount, and the regenerating health can more than make up for that restriction anyway. If you're reasonably good, you should have no trouble beating the entirety of the Caverna del Pollo Bonus Dungeon with it.
    • The second is the infinite chicken flight ability from collecting the five/six special mask pieces that you can get before finishing the game. Both are likely to only be unlocked late in the game though, as Diablo's Suit is the reward from beating at least 10 of the 17 challenges in El Infierno with gold medals, which can be quite challenging and requires you to have unlocked most or all of the progression powers anyway. The Updated Re-release allows you to actually buy the costume, but unless you go out of your way to find silver coins or start a New Game Plus, you're not likely to get it early either. It is not surprising that infinite chicken flight is unlocked by the five/six mask pieces, as just getting to the beginning of their areas can be Guide Dang It! obscure, let alone actually completing them as they are among the hardest challenges in the game.
    • There's also a third that counts in certain contexts. The Skeleton Luchador can't heal from enemies but has infinite stamina for spamming special abilities. Since special abilities are also necessary for various platforming challenges, this costume can be very useful for them, especially the timed ones in El Infierno where you might otherwise have to spend a little time regenerating stamina.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Treasure chests scattered throughout the levels bestow Juan with coins or upgrades upon being destroyed. Their mysterious origin is lampshaded with the achievement for finding them all, named "Who Put Those Here?".
  • Invulnerable Attack: Some enemies have purple-colored attacks that cannot be evaded by the dodge button nor be interrupted by your attacks.
  • The Juggernaut: Carlos' pet Alebrije busts through everything in its path, and even touching it is a One-Hit KO. Your only option is to Run or Die.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Later into the game, enemies will be covered with shields that are Color-Coded for Your Convenience represting what type of special attack would you use to break them in colors of red, yellow, green and blue. White-shielded enemies on the other hand, require you to unleash a quick combo to break their multi-layered shield. These enemies also recover their initial shields if left unkilled for a specific duration.
  • Ledge Bats: Chupacabras or red skeletons' projectile attacks become trickier to dodge when the player is navigating a jumping puzzle.
  • Life Drain: All attacks restore health while wearing Diablo's Suit.
  • Louis Cypher: The chicken that teaches Juan how to switch between chicken and human form is none other than The Devil himself, who wants to help you take down Calaca. He also shows up in El Infierno, where he asks you to help him get back to his office.
  • Magic Feather: As the Golden Ending implies when the Mask falls to bits, Juan always had the heroic luchador potential within him, he only needed to reawaken to it.
  • Mask of Power: After Juan is killed by Calaca at the beginning of the game, he comes back to life and gains power from the Mask on the heroic luchador statue in the World of the Dead.
  • Mayincatec: No Incas in sight, but the environments smoothly and accurately blend Mayan and Aztec traits in the temples and enemies, with a small cameo from Olmec art via the Olmec Heads that teleport you to and fro. The Temple of Rain in particular bears heavy Mayan influence, with Kukulkan motifs everywhere, while the Temple of War is lousy with Toltec engravings and Atlantean columns.
  • Meaningful Name: Carlos Calaca, as "calaca" is Spanish for "skeleton". Not only do skeletons show up everywhere, but he himself is one, and he's the Big Bad of the game.
  • Metroidvania: The game follows the model of "discrete areas connected to a central hub", similarly to Metroid Fusion or Outland. Backtracking is also a must if the player aims for 100% Completion as areas tend to have special blocks that can only be broken by progression-related unlockables.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Invoked by Carlos Calaca, who lures Jaguar Javier to his side by threatening to kill his master.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Your luchador is invulnerable for the split-second they are knocked off their feet by enemies or environmental hazards.
  • Mirror Match: It's possible to fight against X'tabay, Flame Face, or Jaguar Javiar while wearing their respective costume.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Alebrijes are quasi-mythological creatures, mostly seen in traditional Mexican folk art, that consist of very colorful mashups of many different animals (which themselves might be mythical or not). Carlos' giant pet is described by X'tabay as "a fish crossed with a cat-snake," and even then she falls short of what it really looks like.
  • Money Multiplier: You gain increased coin drops with the Piñata costume, but at the cost of taking more damage when attacked.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: The Caverna del Pollo dungeon contains three sets of floors that pit you against several waves of enemies, even though you haven't encountered them yet in the proper story walkthrough. Only Olmec's Headbutt and Dashing Derpderp are required to break the necessary blocks.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • The normal ending is bittersweet. Even after you defeat Calaca, you were too late to stop the ritual, and El Presidente's Daugher dies. Juan moves on with his life, and can even be happy again, but he never takes off the Mask of the Luchador and never finds love again. In the end, he takes off the Mask, allowing himself to die and rejoin his beloved in the land of the dead.
    • The Golden Ending is unlocked by collecting all five/six Mask pieces at the altars of Chac Mool (the final one is always given to you at the end,) thereby proving your mastery of the game. The Mask of the Luchador is destroyed, resuscitating El Presidente's Daughter and letting Juan remain among the living. She marries Juan, and they move on to an incredibly happy marriage together, with Babies Ever After.
  • Multiple Head Case: The Conquistador enemies are two-headed.
  • Necessary Drawback: All of the DLC costumes give you an advantage in one gameplay factor, and a disadvantage in another factor as a trade-off. For example, one costume gives you regenerating health, but gimps your stamina in return.
  • Necessary Evil: The Devil seeks mostly to punish those who did evil themselves in life. For example, in response to Flame Face trying to gain his favor by burning innocents alive, the Devil engulfs his head in an eternally burning flame.
  • New Game Plus: Sort of. Once you start one file, you lose your previous one, but you carry any outfit you had unlocked previously. It's a good way to take on Hard Mode.
  • Nintendo Hard: Hard difficulty is far more ruthless than Normal: enemies deal much more damage, you earn less than half healing from defeated enemies, and bosses have at least one nasty additional gimmick to screw you up good.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Of a non-human sort. The enormous Tule Tree is a direct reference to the real-life, world-famous Árbol del Tule in southern Mexico, which itself has been called "the Tree of Life" and is a millenarian tree with the stoutest trunk in existence.
  • Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits: Falling into some hazards simply teleports the luchador to the last stable platform, and doesn't even do damage. This isn't universal, as spikes can harm and red sawblades and lava will instantly kill.
  • Notice This: Later on in the game, some Platform Hell stages will add a shimmering red particle effect on environmental traps that can be altered by your dimension-switching ability.
  • Numerical Hard: The hard mode you unlock after beating the game mostly just increases the damage enemies do to you. It emphasizes dodging, of course, but if you're already good at that, this shouldn't be too much trouble. The bosses are a bit better, either getting a new gimmick to attack with or getting faster.
  • One-Winged Angel: Carlos Calaca becomes a titanic red demon after absorbing the energy of the world-merging ritual.
  • Our Alebrijes Are Different: An Alebrije appears as the pet of the villain Carlos Calaca and is fought as a boss. It resembles a giant, monstrous beast with bright red and purple fur, striped horns, yellow claws, insect-like wings, and a wide mouth full of sharp teeth.
  • Pals with Jesus: The Devil appears in the end credits partying with everyone else.
  • Planet Heck: El Infierno. It's where the Devil resides, the place is a Fire and Brimstone Hell that constantly burns, and the skeletons there mention being eternally tortured.
  • Portal Door: Some secret doors to Chac Mool can be found in the dungeons, also indicated with their unique icon from the map.
  • Pun-Based Title: "Guacamole" is what you get when you make puree out of avocados. The main character is named Juan Aguacate —aguacate is Spanish for "avocado." A "melee" is an all-out disorganized brawl. "Moles!" is a Mexican interjection for seeing someone get the tar beat out of him.
  • Punny Name:
    • Juan Aguacate - "aguacate" means "avocado" in Spanish
    • Fray Ayayay (Fray = Friar; the pun lies in the repetition of the "ay," which means "ouch!" in Spanish.)
    • X'tabay - "Estaba ahí/[it] was there" note 
    • Carlos Calaca: Calaca = Slang for skeleton.
    • El Pueblucho - Shantytown. Additionally: "pueblo" + "lucho", where the latter means "[I] fight."
    • Santa Luchita - "Luchita" = "Small lucha" or "Small brawl", a pun on the name "Lucía"/"Santa Lucía," and translates directly as "Holy Brawl."
    • La Tostada saved a town from a volcano, dying in the process. Aside from being a Mexican dish (a deep-fried tortilla that is hard but brittle, loaded with toppings), "tostada" is Spanish for "toasted."
    • Pico de Gallo is a type of salsa; it is also a bilingual pun for both "rooster beak" and "rooster peak". The Pico de Gallo of Guacamelee is a mountain, therefore, a peak.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Jaguar Javier is the Goat Hermit's former disciple. However, he only worked for Calaca in order to protect his master. Upon learning this, the hermit asks Juan to punch Calaca in the face for him.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: There's a fair number of attires Juan can wear that are either pink or pretty tacky.
  • Regenerating Health: The Pollo Luchador costume provides constant healing in exchange for lower stamina.
  • Save the Princess: The objective of the game is to save El Presidente's Daughter, who has been kidnapped by the Big Bad Carlos Calaca. You fail to do so unless you get the Golden Ending.
  • Sequence Breaking: You can already clear Caverna del Pollo when you have Olmec's Headbutt, Dashing Derpderp and the Intenso upgrade that instantly breaks shields. Complete the last set of floors and you gain an access to a Portal Door to Chac Mool. It will reward you with a mask piece even if you haven't been informed about the mask pieces yet in the proper story line.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: The Diablo outfit turns Juan into one, dressed in a suit and tie, along with giving his luchador mask some devil horns. While equipped, Juan has only half health, but he has two more stamina blocks and his attacks drain enemy HP when he hits them.
  • Shoryuken: Juan's version of the Rooster Uppercut has him punch upwards while engulfed in a red aura. It propels the hero off the ground and is vital to reach higher platforms.
  • Shown Their Work: The depictions of Day of the Dead celebrations, Mexican folk art, Mexican slang, Pre-Hispanic artifacts and civilizations, Mesoamerican mythology, as well as the myriad video game Shout Outs, are incredibly accurate, and very respectful of the source material once you get past the humor. It helps that Drinkbox Studios has Mexican artists on staff.
  • Shout-Out: In the Rain Temple, there is an obstacle course where Juan is chased by an Alebrije, an enormous dragon who resembles Bowser. It is defeated by luring him onto a bridge, then hitting a switch that causes the bridge to collapse, a tribute to Super Mario Bros., where Mario defeats Bowser the same way.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: "I guess you want to hear my story..." says Flame Face before his boss fight. Juan very much does not, as Juan performs a Rooster Uppercut on Flame Face before he can even start talking.
  • South of the Border: The game indulges in traditional stereotypes of dusty desert towns, sarapes, charros, mariachis, luchadores, broken English peppered with Spanish, Day of the Dead paraphernalia (including allusions to Catrina-style skeletons,) jungle temples, May Inca Tec environments and enemies, Dashing Hispanic, Spicy Latina, and peasants in jorongos and shawls. However, it's all done in a deliberate celebration of the more exotic aspects of Mexican tradition, so it doesn't come off as offensive.
  • Spoiler: A trailer for the Gold edition claims one of the fight scenes is a spoiler, and pixelates the boss battle against X'tabay to avoid giving away the spoiler.
  • Standard Snippet: The Item Get! jingle uses a few bars from the start of El Jarabe Tapatio (also known as the Mexican Hat Dance)... played at such a ridiculously fast tempo that it's barely recognizable anymore. On the other hand, El Jarabe Tapatio does appear at normal speed later in the game.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Jaguar Javier plays a traditional Aztec jaguar warrior, wearing the garb and wielding the macana and shield. But more than that, he's an actual jaguar. So he IS a jaguar who is a warrior.
    • The Final Battle is advertised as "Máscara contra Calavera" (Mask vs. Skull) Some of Mexican lucha libre's biggest, most celebrated fights have been "Máscara contra Cabellera" (Mask vs. Mullet)
    • During the credits for the Golden Ending, a sharp-eyed player will spot El Presidente's Daughter's name: Lupita. Meaning, they're Juan and Guadalupe. St. Juan Diego and the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe are the most iconic religious figures in Mexico.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Bodies of water are considered as environmental hazards in this game, dropping into one will instantly teleport your luchador to the nearest stable platform. On the other hand, any form of contact with lava will instantly kill your character.
  • Super Mode: El Intenso, a technique exclusive to the Super Turbo Championship Edition. It boosts your luchador's attack power and speed. Further upgrades from the shop will allow you to recover health and break shields instantly while under this effect.
  • Take That!:
    • Hmm, that "Devil's Advocate" logo looks awfully familiar...
    • The first cutscene in Pico de Gallo is a jab at the bad side of crowdfunded games. El Trio De La Muerte turns out to have been "thinking of their backers" and making goofy "stretch goal" goodies... while completely neglecting the task Calaca actually hired them for.
  • Take Your Time: Twice, the Goat Hermit outright tells you to go and prepare yourself before the challenge ahead: when you first open the way to the Floating Temple, and right at the Point of No Return (immediately before the Final Boss.) That's your cue to finish up the sidequests, bonus levels, round up chickens, reunite dead girls with their dolls, capture thieves, find missing mariachis... Don't worry, the ritual won't happen until you're actually at the altar itself.
  • Together in Death: Juan and El Presidente's Daughter in the normal ending. Juan gives up the Luchador Mask to join her in the land of the dead as a skeleton.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Before taking up the Mask of the Luchador, Juan was a meek agave farmer with broken lucha libre dreams and a severe slouch. Becoming a hero turned him into a strong, confident luchador, and straightened his posture.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: Calaca wants El Presidente's Daughter for his ritual because she was born during an eclipse.
  • The Unintelligible: Poncho, thanks to his only audible lines being Angrish.
    Poncho: Arghlrharh#@*&...
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: Can happen due to ignorance and the lack of game restrictions when it comes to exploring. You can already gain access to the Caverna del Pollo if you have Olmec's Headbutt to destroy the yellow block. The Dashing Derpderp is also required to clear the blue block before the third set of floors. What the game doesn't tell you about the third set of enemy waves is that there is an enemy with a purple barrier than can only be destroyed using the chicken's egg bomb ability (obtained from getting silver medals on El Infierno challenges). You can still beat said enemy if you have the Intenso upgrade that instantly breaks enemy shields. If you don't even have that Intenso upgrade, there's no way that you could beat this purple-shielded mook no matter what you try. Fortunately, the player can just simply exit the game and be teleported back to the nearest checkpoint, but at the expense of losing any newly-collected coins from that unsaved run.
  • The Unreveal: Despite her status as the Mask's Guardian, first showing up in the World of the Dead, and wearing a mystical mask herself, La Tostada's identity, origin, or even motivations (beyond simply helping Juan out of the goodness of her heart) are never explained. The Super Turbo Championship Edition gives her some backstory though; Tostada was once a hero who helped save her fellow villagers from being killed by an erupting volcano, performing a Heroic Sacrifice. They live in Canal de las Flores now and have memorialized her. There are wooden carvings of Tostada scattered around the area as well.
  • Updated Re-release: The Super Turbo Championship Edition includes the original game's DLC and adds new levels and bosses, as well as the El Intenso technique. It was released on consoles the original game wasn't available on: (The Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PS4.
  • Variable Mix: The background music will segue between two different versions depending on whether you're in the living or dead world. The living world's version tends to be a bit jauntier and energetic, and the dead world's version is a bit eerie.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You have the option of bringing a dead little girl her favorite doll from the living world.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential:
    • You can kick, punch, bash, grab, and smash chickens (and even their tiny baby chicks!) to your heart's content. They won't retaliate, they'll just run away.
    • If you finish Combo Chicken's challenges, wherein you use the good-natured skeleton luchador Poncho as your punching bag, the last combo proves too much for him and he dies for real. Turns out he was Combo Chicken's only friend.
    • The method you obtain power-ups is by breaking the Goat Hermit's priceless statues. He is not happy about this arrangement.
    • When playing co-op, players can leave a single enemy alive and have one player grab the mook and throw it to the other player, who can also grab the mook and throw it back, this doesn't seem to increase damage or anything and with proper timing, players can spend a good while playing catch with the helpless victim.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Played for Laughs. The Goat Hermit eventually gets back at you for breaking his statues and awards you for breaking one of them with... nothing! (complete with the typical splash screen, but with "NO POWER" written on it and Juan and Tostada standing there looking frustrated.)
  • Versus Character Splash: Pops up whenever the player gets into a boss fight, and set up like Lucha Libre advertisement posters.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: Played with. Calaca intends to sacrifice El Presidente's Daughter as part of his ritual and explicitly calls her a virgin, though she awkwardly tries to tell him that she is not one.
  • Wakeup Call Boss: Flame Face sics enemies on you periodically while shooting and charging at you. He also uses a few flame attacks, which cover the entire floor and can only be dodged if you switch dimensions or cling to the wall. Unlike X'tabay, his fight has no checkpoints.
  • Wall Jump: Juan learns how to repeatedly jump off walls to reach higher locations after breaking a Choozo Statue. An Antepiece also explains that while your luchador slowly slides off the wall if you don't press anything, you can cling to the wall indefinitely by pushing towards its direction.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Both endings have a montage of what became of the characters afterwards. Whether Juan's beloved is with him or not is up to you.
  • Woman Scorned: X'tabay is not entirely pleased with the way Calaca obsesses over El Presidente's Daughter. After beating her, she decides Calaca isn't worth her time and gives Juan the ability to switch between the Living and Dead Worlds at will, then disappears for the rest of the game. She shows up in the credits, indicating that she and Juan have become friends.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: You start out with the ability to kick and punch, and after stunning an enemy, grab it and toss it. You can also buy further wrestling techniques like piledrivers and backdrops.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: No matter what you do, how fast you get there, or how many Mask pieces you've collected, you can never stop Carlos' ritual, nor you can prevent El Presidente's Daughter's death.


Video Example(s):



This Alebrije is a giant monster and pet of Carlos and X'tabay, that ain't friendly.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / OurAlebrijesAreDifferent

Media sources: