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Minoto is a Japanese artist who makes web-based point-and-click adventure games and animations in Flash. He began in 2007 with Reader's Escape, and has gone on to make more than 140. The games are seldom very difficult, but what they lack in difficulty, they make up for with their unique art style and amusing animations. In February 2008, Cupid of the Mouse was featured on the Escape Games 24 blog, bringing Minoto a cult following that has grown ever since.
Series tropes include:
- Artistic License: The games based on folk tales.
- Bag of Holding: You only have ten inventory slots per game, but you'll be carrying around some things you wouldn't expect to be able to carry. This includes 100-ton weights, sumo wrestlers, life-size lion statues, and even farts!
- Bears Are Bad News: Completely subverted. Minoto's bears are as friendly as can be.
- Big Eater: The panda. The only games where it's not eating are the ones where you have to give it something to eat. There are even two games and a mini-game in which this is your ultimate objective.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: But most of the EG24 users agree, that's half the fun of these games.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The Big Bad of the Monkey and Secret Army series is a turtle who never got a chance to play on the park's playground equipment because he's so much slower than everyone else. The solution to his problem? SEND A MIND-CONTROLLED GIANT CRAB TO TAKE THE PARK BY FORCE WHICH TAKES THE COMBINED EFFORTS OF THE SWAT TEAM AND A SUPERHERO MONKEY TO STOP!
- Early Installment Weirdness: Minoto's first few games were more traditional room escape games. It wasn't until Cupid of the Mouse that they began to look like they do today.
- Enfant Terrible: A pistol-packing baby with Cool Shades who gets into shootouts with police and government agents.
- Everything's Better With Monkeys: A mantra Minoto holds dear. Nearly every game has a monkey in it somewhere.
- Filk Song: Almost every time a new game comes out, one of the EG24 users (usually Zoz) will write a "song-through" for it.
- Giant Enemy Crab: A Brainwashed and Crazy version appears in Monkey and Secret Army.
- Guide Dang It!: In Box of Sparrow, most people didn't think to look inside the matchbox for the bow. Later, Halloween 2 has an important item hidden behind a brick wall, but most players thought it was just part of the scenery.
- Lighter and Softer: Folk tales get this treatment frequently. For instance, the Minoto version of the Three Little Pigs ends with the wolf becoming friends with the pigs, and the Little Matchstick Girl not only lives, she becomes a successful businesswoman!
- Limited Animation: Most games only have one frame per character. That's about as limited as animation can get.
- Notice This: More recent games begin with picking up a key being indicated with a circle and arrow.
- Poke the Poodle: Once released, the demon in Halo Flower doesn't do anything except cut grass.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Take your pick!
- Rousseau Was Right: There are rarely any truly villainous characters. The finale to the Monkey and Secret Army series is a shining example. Even characters who were villainous in the original folk tales are depicted as having a softer side.
- Shout-Out: Going through the games, you'll run into a rubbery boy in a straw hat, a martial-artist panda, a boy who gets really strong when his hair turns gold, and even a tough-looking schoolgirl wielding a yo-yo. And Moon Princess ends with a ring being thrown into a volcano.
- Solve the Soup Cans: The nest puzzle in Cherry Blossoms.
- Super Zeroes: Birds Egg 2 has Uncle using a transformation belt to become...CANDLE MAN!
- What Could Have Been: EG24 user Prid made a beta for Minoto Quest, a side-scrolling platformer about the Minoto series, but nothing ever came of it.
- Widget Series
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