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Video Game / LISA: The Pointless

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"I only know what I've seen."

Do you believe in... SIN? Can you even comprehend such a thing?

LISA: The Pointless is a fan-made Interquel to LISA. It holds the notable distinction of being one of the few LISA fan project to come to fruition.

You play as Alex Churchland, a failed martial artist and former garbage man. Alex has been been beaten half to death for unknown reasons and left to die on Garbage Island, a landfill featured briefly in the original game. He is rescued by a man named Joel, an amiable scavenger looking for a specially-made bullet for his ancestral pistol. Upon finding said bullet near where Alex was lying, Joel nurses Alex back to health and agrees to accompany him on his travels. From there, Alex resolves to get off of Garbage Island and find a place where he can live a life free of trash and violence. The duo are enticed by rumors of "the city," a semi-legendary utopia somewhere out in the wastes of Olathe. In their quest to locate the city, the duo are hounded at every corner by Garbage Island's surlier residents, the grisly Infinity Franchise, as well as the usual thugs and perverts that are endemic to Olathe. With little to their names but the rags on their backs, a single bullet, and whatever meager supplies they can get their hands on, Alex and Joel have a long road ahead of them...


The gameplay is mostly the same as that of the Painful RPG, although there are a few notable changes. The difficulty is significantly ramped up, with save points being less common, items being in shorter supply, and enemies hitting much harder than before. It's imperative that you carefully manage your items as well as Alex and Joel's abilities. Even the most basic enemies are capable of killing the duo if you're not operating at the top of your game.

You can download the game here.


This game contains examples of:

  • All for Nothing: The game's central theme is futility, so this comes into play frequently.
    • The overarching debate is of if searching for sanctuary in a Crapsack World is either a good thing, or pointless.
    • In-universe, Alex has dedicated a majority of his life towards martial arts. As we see from the outcome of the tournament flashback, he ends up thinking its pointless, ending up as a garbage man.
    • This theme is reflected in the groups that Alex encounters. The communion of cellophane try to find meaning in the garbage that surrounds them while the Infinity Franchise is resigned to violent nihilism.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: Unlike Lisa the Painful, any KO'd party members will still get EXP after battle.
    • Roland is a beef-gate boss who can quickly annihilate an unprepared player. Thankfully, a side quest exists that can not only result in the party being revived, but reduce Roland's stats to make it more feasible.
    • Downtown Olathe presents a jump in difficulty, considering many of the inhabitants will attack for any reason. Except for two, who are unable to attack at all, and can be avoided altogether but also revisit any time. These two are the best opportunities to regenerate SP, since Alex and Joel both have moves that will allow SP regeneration during combat. In addition, they both provide a minuscule amount of EXP upon defeat, so there is no real point in killing them.
    • The bulk food mechanic, starting with the rotten fruit. You can gather an unlimited supply of them to fully heal your party. The bad news? They inflict poison and could even inflict deep poison. The good news? You are provided three cigarettes to cure those side effects.tip 
  • Art Evolution: The sprites are more detailed than in the original game and are generally drawn better as well. There are far fewer pallete-swaps of preexisting sprites for enemies, which makes the characters you come across feel more distinct and memorable.
  • Art Shift: Aside from the upgraded sprites and backgrounds, the TV show Alex watches in an abandoned house is very detailed.
  • Artifact of Doom: The infinity jerseys, maybe.
  • Bait-and-Switch: A skateboard is set up to be the game's equivalent of the bicycle in the original. Using it in the menu just causes Alex to slip and fall. The guy who asked you to get it for him amusingly can't use it either.
    • One of the more even-headed warlords at the dinner scene, Office Ottoman, has an extended conversation with Alex and Joel about their lives and motivations. It seems like he's about to join them as a third companion (and even expresses a wish to do so) only for him to get knifed in the back by Shef after the lights have gone off.
  • Big Bad: Not a single individual, but the entirety of the Infinity Franchise and its ideology of killing for killing's sake. There's no actual leadership (besides the possibly hallucinatory clerk) and even the powerful Arnold Sphitz presents himself as Just the First Citizen instead of a stronger soldier.
  • Body Horror: A couple joy mutants can be fought and they're just as twisted-looking as before. Additionally, Arnold Sphitz goes through a transformation in the second phase of his fight, where he gains a bunch of new arms and heads. He turns back to normal (albeit dying) for the third form, but...
  • Book-Ends: Both the beginning and ending of the game involve Alex being taken somewhere while bleeding to death on a vehicle.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • In a strange roundabout way. One barter item allows to you get either a rare gummy worm or a mystery key. Late in the first part of the game, you finally find the door the key goes to. The prize is a rare gummy worm.
    • An unfortunate one. Alex is doomed to lose the martial arts tournament, either due to simply being bested or getting himself disqualified with a cheap kick.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Doubly subverted. The Pink Pill saves Alex from dying near the end of the game...then you learn the pill wasn't used at all at the actual end. But then the pill is traded as bus fare, letting Alex and Joel on the bus.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Right at the beginning of the desert segment, you can see a gloved man watching Alex from a cliff. If you walk a ways and then return, the man will be gone and you'll find the corpse of the NPC who warned Alex against trekking through the desert. The gloved man is once again briefly seen in downtown Olathe, standing on a cliff in the background and quickly disappearing again. He later appears at the traveler's campsite and viciously stabs Alex, severely wounding him.
  • Crapsack World: The Hero of Another Story angle shows off different parts of Olathe, but they're arguably worse than the places Brad visits in the original game. The driving force behind the plot concerns Alex searching for a place in the wastes that isn't one of these.
    • Garbage Island is a disgusting landfill populated by people who're too apathetic or scared to seek out a better place to live. They pretend to like the island's squalor and end up fetishizing it, not wanting to confront the inadequacy of their living conditions. Alex, Joel, and Georgy killing Roland appears to break the taboo, as some of the people who can be spoken to afterwards express doubts about staying on the island.
    • Downtown Olathe manages to be even more inhospitable by being a war-torn hellhole. Initially the city is locked in an endless turf war between various gangs, but then the Infinity Franchise arrives and plunges the area into further chaos. It's implied that once everyone in downtown Olathe is dead (and a great number of people die during this chapter), the franchise will move on to a new area and kill everyone there too.
  • Crutch Character: Georgy. His shovel hits harder than Alex early on and is tanky enough to take the heat off of his teammates.
  • The Cameo: Rick appears in a TV show Alex watches while scavenging a house.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Alex Churchland strongly contrasts with Brad and Buddy. While he has had difficulties growing up, he still had positive influences in his life and is never implied to be abused in any way, with no canonical joy addiction either. As a result, he holds no trauma and is never hostile without reason and is ultimately just another guy trying to survive in a Crapsack World. This is further shown with how he treats Joel, as while Brad has no problem sacrificing his party members and Buddy's openly hostile toward Rando out of a combination of distrust and Joy, he and Joel are True Companions and the only truly selfish act Alex could make is killing a man and his dog for the sake of getting first aid for Joel.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The Infinity Franchise has shades of this, especially if the more supernatural elements aren't just hallucinations. The power of Infinity is some unknowable entity that humanity is powerless to resist. It compels even the most seemingly normal people to act on their primordial, violent tendencies. There doesn't seem to be any complicated motivation for why they willingly give themselves up to Infinity, other than the sheer visceral thrill of holding power over life and death. It's implied the Franchise will keep replenishing its lost members until every person on the planet is dead.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: From what is shown, Alex might not have had the best life pre-flash. He's shown in the beginning of the game to possibly have no parents, only his aunt to keep watch over him. To say nothing about the martial arts tournament...
  • Denser and Wackier: The game manages to be both this and Darker and Edgier simultaneously. There's a lot more levity than there was in The Joyful, but there's a disturbing and surreal undercurrent to most of it. The horror is quite understated and usually of the minimal, atmospheric variety.
  • Doomed by Canon: Georgy is the Joy Mutant Brad can fight on Garbage Island, which is foreshadowed by his Joy addiction.
  • Disc-One Nuke: It is possible through a series of specific actions and a bit of RNG to kill Dex Muldoon before he explodes. This instantly jumps Alex and Joel to level 6, making the rest of Garbage Island a cake walk.
  • Down in the Dumps: Garbage Island.
  • Dying Town: Alex and Joel pass through one after escaping the Infinity Franchise, whose lonely warlord is complaining about everyone leaving.
  • Eagleland: Pre-Flash America is shown to be at war with New Zealand. It's unknown if this has anything to do with the Flash, but considering that Joy was originally canonically developed to be used for war, it may have been a lead-up to it.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: A very easy to miss one. Georgy, a party member early on in the game, leaves Alex's party a while after they enter the mainland. If one remembers Garbage Island in the Painful, they might recognize Georgy as one of the Joy Mutants Brad fights.
  • Everything Fades: Averted for the most part. Unlike Lisa the Painful, all the enemies you fight will still be present as bloodied corpses, with some exceptions, such as gameplay limitations, and if said enemies are just KO'd.
  • Evil Army: The Infinity Franchise. While Rando's Army has bad seeds, Rando ultimately wants to establish peace in Olathe. The Infinity Franchise however only believes in perpetuating violence against everyone who isn't them and continues to exist because people join up for protection - even then there's nothing stopping members from offing each other.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In keeping with the game's theme of futility, Alex does not reach enlightenment in his quest to stroke the plastic. He simply feels disgusted and gets a gets a stat drop. Returning to Larry Davis will have him express disappointment in you, but Alex gets a stat increase.
  • Fictional Country: You may end up missing it, but in the martial arts tournament room decorated with the flags of various countries, there's an unknown black flag with a white circle among them. It's not known if something will come from it, however.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Joel gains the Broken Ribs status effect after he and Alex escape the Infinity Franchise.
  • The Ghost: Rando is mentioned, you fight a few of his soldiers, and Buddy appears on posters as her discovery is announced to the world.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: One battle against a rather weak member of the Infinity Franchise is suddenly interrupted when another member chucks a television at and kills him. He also tries to kill Alex and Joel and is far tougher than the man he just killed.
  • The Gunslinger: Joel has a slick outfit and a cool gun... but he only has one bullet and he has no intention of firing it.
  • Kill 'Em All: The Infinity Franchise soldiers can all optionally be wiped out.
  • Lighter and Softer: Heavily downplayed. While the main theme is generally accepted to be a bit lighter than The Painful's, having less focus on the topic of sexual assault, body horror, and has a generally more hopeful feel to it combined with more Black Comedy, it's still a LISA game.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Defeating Dex Muldoon (the man with the bomb on his body). He nets you a whopping 1000 experience points! But defeating is nearly impossible thanks to him being able to heal himself on the third move. Thankfully, he is optional, and you are suppose to escape from the battle against him anyway.tip 
  • Hero of Another Story: Alex and Joel. The game is very much stated to be taking place during the early events of the Painful.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Unlike Brad, who has hallucinations as a result of taking Joy, Alex and Joel have no such addiction so the weird stuff they end up seeing (especially with regards to the Infinity Franchise) just seems to be flat-out magic.
  • Meaningful Name: See All for Nothing. There's also the fact that downtown Olathe is swarmed with the violent Infinity Franchise, who intend to keep perpetuating their brand of aimless violence indefinitely.
  • Not with the Safety on, You Won't: When Hugo attacks the campsite, Joel tries to fire his one bullet at him to save Alex, but he forgets to load it in.
  • Optional Boss: It's probably easier to count the enemies that actually are required.
  • Pet the Dog: Somebody tries to give advice to Alex after the martial arts tournament. It's Yado.
  • Recurring Boss: Anaconda Virtue needs to be fought multiple times before he's actually put down.
  • Scenery Porn: The much more detailed environments allows for this. Special mention to the autumn land of Olathe, which is lush with trees and foliage.
    • Scenery Gorn: Of course, most of the scenery is post-apocalyptic ruins.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: The game is made in mind for players that have played Pain Mode in the original game. Pain Mode's Save-Game Limits are active (though you can occasionally find rare items that act as a save), resources are more scarce and aside from Guest-Star Party Member Georgy, you're stuck with only two party members.
    • Harder Than Hard: Agony mode is currently in the works and will feature additional battles and higher difficulty. On the plus side, Officeman Otto got confirmed as a party member.
  • Sequel Hook: The current iteration of the game ends on an ambiguous note, with Alex bleeding profusely in a bus while beams of purple light illuminate a city in the distance.
  • Shout-Out: Has it's own page.
  • Tempting Fate: When you first head to downtown Olathe, a few normal Non Player Characters comment that the Infinity Franchise is likely to burn itself out. This is somewhat supported by the pile of dead bodies nearby. Toward the end of the area, almost all of the NPCs are either dead or converted to the Franchise and even killing a number of them - including their strongest present soldier - does not stop their spread.
  • The Promised Land: The city that Alex sets out to find. Whether it will turn out to be real or not is difficult to determine, as the game has yet to be completed.
  • To Be Continued: The creator of the game has stated that the remainder of the game is in the works, but that it will likely take over a year until it's finished.
  • True Companions: Alex and Joel.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Rick appears in a TV show Alex watches... despite Brad beating him near-fatally in the Painful. Of course, that's assuming that the program was even real to begin with.
  • Urban Hellscape: While the rest of Olathe isn't exactly peachy keen either, downtown Olathe is a huge city whose inhabitants are in a constant turf war with each other.
  • War for Fun and Profit: The Game in Downtown Olathe is implied to be this. The gangs in the turf war (especially in the initial area) are all near each other yet isn't shown fighting and their leaders are on mostly good terms with each other; it's further implied that their fighting never got lethal or serious until the Infinity Franchise rolled in.

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