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Video Game / Moon: Remix RPG Adventure
aka: Moon

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"Hey! Stop playing that game, and go to bed!"
The Boy's mother

Moon: Remix RPG Adventure is an "anti-RPG" Adventure Game developed by Love-de-Lic and published by ASCII Corporation / ASCII Soft for PlayStation in 1997. It is notable for being one of the earliest games to spoof and deconstruct the genre conventions of JRPGs, especially of the 16-bit Era, and even plays around with elements of Postmodernism, making it an almost, but not quite Parody Video Game.

It follows the story of a boy playing an RPG named "Fake Moon", a game that follows the "Hero's" journey to bring back the moonlight stolen by an evil dragon. Right at the Final Boss, his mother tells him to go to bed and turn off the game. Just then, the game turns back on, and the boy finds himself sucked into the game's world, Love-De-Gard, albeit now invisible. Here, he discovers what NPCs actually think of the "Hero" and the various mechanics seen in many, many classic RPGs. In a dream, the "Invisible Boy" is then given a mission by Queen Aphrodite to gather love by helping NPCs and restoring monsters by catching their souls to restore balance that the "Hero" has upset.

Very few Westerners had played it upon release due to it being Japanese-language only for 23 years. The indie developer Toby Fox cites it as an inspiration for Undertale, and it gained spiritual successors in Chulip, Endonesia, GiFTPiA and Chibi-Robo!.

During the September 4th, 2019 episode of Nintendo Direct, it was announced that Moon: Remix RPG Adventure would be re-released by indie studio Onion Games (comprised of the game's original staff) as moon for the Nintendo Switch on October 10th, 2019. An official localization of the Switch version, translated by Tim Rogers, was published in Western territories on August 27, 2020, with further ports for PC and PlayStation 4 released on December 16, 2021.

Had a Weird Crossover with Dandy Dungeon. Not to be confused with the horror visual novel Moon, also a Japanese game made in 1997.

This game contains the following tropes:

  • Affectionate Parody: The game parodies many aspects of classic JRPGs, most obviously the Hero killing everything in sight.
  • all lowercase letters: Your character's name wavers between this and ALL CAPS, and many objects in the game, as well as the title, are all-lowercase.
  • All There in the Manual: The online manual explains much of what the game doesn't, including the energy meter, saving, and useful items.
  • Anti-Escapism Aesop: The ending. Turns out that the true "door" to open was not the one on the Moon, but the door in the Boy's bedroom in the real world.
  • Astral Finale: The climax of the game involves building a rocket ship to travel to the Moon, the location of the Dragon Castle.
  • Arc Words: Along with "love", which is to contrast the violence found in RPGs and the "Hero" himself, "open the door" also shows up a lot. The latter means to bring back the moonlight and free the inhabits of the game world. Despite how it seems, the "door" in question is not the one on the Moon, blocked by Rumroms. It's actually the door in the Boy's bedroom in the real world.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: The Invisible Boy gets involved in the construction of a rocket ship, and is tasked with collecting various materials for it. The navigation system is built from an old robot's circuit, the ship's engine is made from a single firework, a bottle of alcohol serves as the fuel, the cooling system is built using a fridge fished out of a lake, and a video game console (also found in the same lake) is used as the ship's power console.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Played for Laughs: At the end of the "Fake" segment, the hero keeps attacking the Dragon at 9,999 damage per turn. Eventually, the Hero not only prevents the Dragon from having a turn, but even attacks before the battle message finishes scrolling. This frequency increases until the Boy's mother tells him to stop playing and go to bed. It takes a much darker turn during the ending, where the Hero just keeps slaughtering everyone with insanely powerful attacks, with no one able to stop him.
  • Beef Gate: Not in the form of strong enemies (as there is no combat), but certain lengthy sequences you have to complete all in one go fulfill the same function. As your energy constantly drains with time and leveling up increases maximum energy, this puts a solid minimum level requirement for progress at certain points. Two notable such instances are the journey to Bali Bali Island and flying to the Moon.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Darlia makes several romantic and lustful comments about her pet Perogon, and even calls it her "boyfriend" at one point.
  • Bittersweet Ending: After finally completing the rocket to reach the Moon with, you learn from its guardians, the Moon Queen and the Dragon, that the only way to bring back the moonlight is to "open the door". Despite his best efforts, the Invisible Boy fails to open it, much to the guardians' confusion. Just then, the Hero, who snuck aboard the Invisible Boy's rocket, kills everyone on the Moon, including the Invisible Boy himself, and the Hero then falls apart. The Boy then finds himself back in the real world, thanks to his mother waking him up. When given the option to continue playing, if you choose "Yes", you're sucked into the TV, the end. Choosing not to continue the game ends with the player instead turning off the game and going outside, since it's still just a game. However, the ending becomes happier as the residents of Love-De-Gard (minus the Hero himself) are freed due to everyone with the copies of the game quitting and escape to the real world, while Fake Moon is revealed to have been canceled by its publishers.
  • Bland-Name Product: There is the GameStation, which even looks nearly identical to a PlayStation.
  • Book Ends: "Hey! Stop playing that game, and go to bed!", is said to the Boy both in the beginning and at the end of the game by his mom.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Hero is only such an Omnicidal Maniac because of the cursed, irremovable armor he was thrust into at the Minister's behest.
  • Central Theme: Misinterpretation and Anti-Escapism Aesop.
    • The game starts with the usual things an RPG of its time would do; kill monsters, be praised, and defeat the Final Boss. After crashing into the game, it's revealed that the Hero is anything but heroic, and most people have bad things to say about him, due to him being under the control of the armor he wears and the events he sees are Through the Eyes of Madness. When Pappa sees the Hero attacking the Perogon doll, he gets inspired and makes a manga-styled comic about the Perogon being the villain and the Hero the hero. Adder mistakes the Hero for God, and a monster soul as a divine agent. Everyone mistakes you for Gramby's dead grandson, with a drunken Freddy claiming that he was the one who became the Hero. At the end of the game, when given your final choice to continue or to quit, by picking the obvious answer — "Yes" — you get the Downer Ending, while choosing "No" gives you the Golden Ending.
    • The game teaches the Invisible Boy important life lessons, such as slowing down to "smell the roses" so to say, following the NPCs' routine to better understand them and gather "Love". However, this is still a game, and these life lessons are meant to be implemented in the real world, not in a game. It's only when the Boy quits that the Rumroms dictating the NPCs vanish and the moonlight is restored. The Stinger even says you can turn the game off now.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: At the beginning of the game, you only have one bed to rest in and a very limited amount of Action Limit per day, so you will constantly have to race against the clock while trying to get things done. Once you activate the Rainbow Machine and unlock the east side of the map, you get a second house to stay at, making it only ever so marginally easier. Eventually, though, as you level up and increase your Action Limit, the need for beds is reduced, and by the end of the game, they become little more than a Fast-Forward Mechanic.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The rainbow generator puzzle is based on the colors of the rainbow in color order.
  • Critical Existence Failure: As soon as your energy meter runs out, you collapse and die instantly regardless of what you were doing before.
  • Death's Hourglass: The game has a system called "Action Limit", which is a meter that gradually goes down until the player either dies or replenishes it by sleeping in a bed. The meter's capacity increases as the player levels up. There is also a marker on the game's clock HUD which shows the point after which the player will die — if it's white, then the Invisible Boy has more than 1 day left to live, and if it's red, he will die the next time the clock hand passes the marker. The time of death can also be delayed by consuming a food item.
  • Deconstruction Game: The entire game is a deconstruction of RPGs, with the "Hero" being a tabletop murder hobo before the phrase was popular, and the "combat" is revealed to be bad for the environment. Instead of being focused on the player, with NPCs who have only a few lines of dialogue, and that a regular player would ignore, the main draw here is the NPCs, and instead of fighting anything, you wait for things to happen and gather Love to level up. Even that is deconstructed, as the world you're trapped in is a game, and when given the choice, you must say "No" and quit the game, taking what you learned into the real world, which is also what is needed to return moonlight to Love-De-Gard and free everyone.
  • Disguised in Drag: In the Fake Moon segment, the Hero must pass Rainbow Rocks by wearing "Legendary Armor". In Love-De-Gard, it's revealed that the "Legendary Armor" is in fact Wanda's lingerie stolen from the drawer in her bar.
  • Eagleland: The American House is a satirical portrayal of an American middle class nuclear family: Pappas likes to watch the TV, Mammas does all the housework, and Darlia is their spoiled young daughter.
  • Early Game Hell: The beginning is the most difficult part, as you only have enough energy to move around for a few minutes before needing to get to bed to recharge. As you take your time to help out people, gain more energy, and unlock some means of fast travel, the game gradually becomes much more manageable.
  • Expressive Health Bar: When the Invisible Boy is close to passing out, his sprite will start slouching and the movement speed will significantly decrease.
  • Expy: A few monsters are expies of Dragon Quest monsters. In the original trailer for the game, a person dressed up as the hero of Dragon Quest breaking into a person's house is a Take That! to Kleptomaniac Heroes.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: In full view, the Hero kills one monster by using a lightning spell that turns the monster into a charred corpse. He then kills another monster by cutting the monster's body with a sword. In the unused ending, the Hero beheads the Dragon.
  • Fishing Mini Game: Fishing locations are scattered around the world, and fishing in them can give clues to puzzles as well as Love points.
  • Foreshadowing: If you can read the walls of text in Fake Moon quickly enough, the final one provides hints to the ending.
    ...And in the mind of this HERO who loiters in the space between the conceptual realm and this realm of torment the rhythm of a mantra emerges: "Cease dreaming these dreams and awaken."
  • Game Within a Game:
    • The game starts with Fake Moon (known in-universe as just Moon), a fictional game which the Boy plays and eventually gets sucked into, resulting in becoming part of the game world as the Invisible Boy.
    • "XINGISKAN" is another layer of this, being a playable arcade game found in the Rocket room at Technopolis, making it a game within a game within a game.
    • "Love & Animal" is a show within the world of Moon, making it a show within a game within a game. It is a TV show hosted by Dolottle, who tells you how many animal souls you have saved so far, and can be watched on the TV found in the Invisible Boy's new house.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Collecting as much Love as you can is the driving force of the game, and there are 51 monsters' souls to save. The highest level you can get is 30.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Twofold.
    • The Minister was responsible for picking Gramby's grandson to be the Hero, resulting in the events of the game. Though, as revealed by the Rumroms on the moon, this was programmed into him by Love-de-LIC to serve as the game's background.
    • Love-de-LIC, the game studio that created Fake Moon. They're the ones who created the preordained world of Love-De-Gard as dictated through the Rumroms, and the never-ending tragedy of the "Hero" destroying everyone. While they're never confronted directly, they do get comeuppance in the form of their game being cancelled by their publishers.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Figuring out what to do at the beginning takes some effort, as you have to talk to NPCs multiple times for some event flags to trigger, the schedule is too long for the amount of energy you have, and there's no warning that running out of energy kills you unless you talk to a purple bird, who's also on a schedule and easily missed.
      • The official manual does explain a few things, but the only way you would know about it is by checking the game's official website.
    • How to build the perfect firework hinted at in an incomplete Rumrom tablet/chip; the player must use unintuitive math to arrive at the solution… if they even found the tablet in the first place.
    • The White-feathered Arrow, to the point where the official guide even says that it has no use. You can find out certain backstory-related information, at least earlier, with it. Yoshida, who typically provides information on items, simply states he "doesn't like the look of it." The rumrom/slate/chip that you found with it provides no clues on how to actually use the item. There are two other characters that have a unique response to it; the Minister, who recognizes it but in surprise pretends not to, and Bilby, the guard, who gives you the more interesting information, but only when he's at Wanda's bar. Any indication you're supposed to show it to him? Nope.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Twofold. You are asked to input a name during the Fake Moon segment. This becomes your real name when you enter the game, but when used in capital letters/katakana, it instead refers to Gramby's grandson, so you effectively name both characters at once.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted. When the Hero attacks Darlia's pet Perogon, the Invisible Boy will attempt to save the creature by putting on a Perogon costume, setting himself on fire, and diverting the Hero's attention to himself. The Hero slashes the costume in half, but the Invisible Boy miraculously survives the hit.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: The game's clock is divided into four sections for morning, afternoon, evening, and night, with certain events only taking place at certain times.
  • Karma Houdini: The Minister is responsible for the Hero becoming cursed, thus leading to the plot. However, he is never punished for this and is one of the characters that end up in the real world. Then again, he was programmed to do all that by Love-de-LIC as part of the game's background, so he can't really be blamed.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Deconstructed. The Hero can be found in other people's houses, stealing their valuables for his quest. Naturally, everyone calls him a thief, rather than a hero.
  • Last-Second Ending Choice: After the Hero kills everyone on the Moon, including the Invisible Boy, the player is then given the option to continue, Yes or No. Continuing actually gives you the Downer Ending, while saying No gives you the Golden Ending.
  • Logo Joke: The in-game versions of Ascii Soft and Love-de-lic in the intro of Fake Moon have the Hero on the horse, and a broken heart, respectively.
  • Man on Fire: Saving Perogon from the Hero has you dress in a costume similar to Perogon and light yourself on fire to divert his attention.
  • Medium Awareness: Several inhabitants of Moon World are vaguely aware that they might be pre-programmed, with their actions and schedules entirely dictated by "rumroms" — the in-universe representation of game code.
  • Medium Blending: The animals, Dolottle, and the Queen, who all come from the Moon, are portrayed in claymation, while pretty much everyone else is hand-drawn.
  • Money Sink: There are several expensive items that don't reward any Love.
    • Hero Bromide can be purchased from Curio for 2,000 Yenom. It can be used as the equivalent of a business card to hear other characters' opinions about the Hero.
    • There are 32 Moon Discs you can buy from Burrn for 100 Yenom each, amounting to 3,200 Yenom in total.
    • 10,000 Yenom can be donated to the Hager Innovation Institute to get a Hager Gold Badge. The gold badge is required for finishing the game, but can be obtained much more easily by getting a black Hager Badge from Mammas and then trading it with the King.
  • Mr. Exposition:
    • Talking to Bilby at night at Bar Wanda reveals a lot of information about the King, the Minister, and the Hero that he wouldn't tell you when he's sober.
    • After returning from Bali Bali Island, Yoshida can take you to the Midnight University, where Professor Owl provides you with information about the game's backstory.
  • Mr. Smith: In the English version, if nothing is entered on the naming screen at the beginning, the game will give your character the default name "johndoe".
  • Mushroom Samba: A mix between this and Magic Mushroom. The mushrooms you eat in the Mushroom Forest make you hallucinate, but also open up new paths and teleport you.
  • My Card: The King gives the Invisible Boy a card that, when shown, will give the opinion of the king from whomever the Invisible Boy is talking to. The Invisible Boy also ends up getting a lot of cards from other townspeople this way, though one gives him trash… which has the same function.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • You must "catch" the souls of animals and monsters killed by the Hero. Also, said Hero ends up killing you and everyone on the Moon in the ending.
    • The Boy playing Fake Moon is responsible for the havoc wreaked in Moon, as he names and controls the Hero during the first playthrough of the game.
  • NPC Scheduling: The game has NPCs on different schedules depending on the days of the week, with several puzzles requiring you to be in certain places on certain days. As it turns out, their schedules are dictated by the Rumroms found on the Moon.
  • Once More, with Clarity: The Invisible Boy's encounters with the Hero are the same scenes that are shown of the Fake Moon game in the lengthy intro. In one instance, this results in a puzzle where the Invisible Boy has to take steps to recreate the scene to match how the Hero experienced it. Examples include; the Crazed Dog being Tao, the "legendary armor" being Wanda's underwear, the airship being in fact a rocket ship, and the Penultimizer being everyone on the Moon.
  • One-Word Title: Short Title: Long, Elaborate Subtitle-style.
  • Painting the Medium: Bali Bali Island is "the island that time forgot". Once you get there, the clock in the UI disappears and the day-night cycle is put on hold.
  • The Power of Love: An integral part of the game. While closer to The Power of Friendship in-game, you win "Love Points" by helping NPCs, and these points allow you to survive longer in this world. You even help the Hero at times. Unfortunately, it's not enough to stop the Hero from killing everyone on the Moon, but that was never the point of the game.
  • Prince and Pauper: The King switches places with Shambles, a homeless man who looks vaguely similar. Both quickly come to hate being in each other's shoes, and would love to switch back, except now the Minister is keeping an eye that a random homeless guy doesn't come bother the King.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: This trope is a very strong element that distinguishes the "Fake" segments from the "Real" segments. In one case, the Hero fights a Crazed Dog in the "Fake" segment, but the "Real" segment reveals that he was chasing around a dog that belonged to someone. Thankfully, the dog avoids getting hurt.
  • Rube Goldberg Device: If you're in Noge's room early in the morning when he wakes up, you can witness a little cutscene in which his alarm clock is triggered by a Rube Goldberg machine.
  • Scam Religion: Adder offers you an option to skip his training by donating 50,000 Yenom to his church (which is technically impossible — you have to pay the whole sum at once, but the game limits the amount of money you can carry at 30,000 Yenom).
  • Scrolling Text: When the Hero is battling the Dragon, the Hero ends up attacking so fast, his next attack starts before the text of his previous attack finishes scrolling.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: The kingdom's currency is called "Yenom".
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The bad ending. The Hero ultimately can't be defeated, all the Moon's inhabitants, including the Queen and the Dragon, are slain. The Moon's Light isn't restored, and the Boy takes the opportunity to enter the game afresh in the hopes things will change — it's strongly implied they won't.
  • Shout-Out:
    • There are several references to Dragon Quest.
      • In the first "Fake" segment, the king's advisor talks about how much EXP the Hero needs before levelling up, mirroring the advisor's role in Dragon Quest.
      • The maps and battle GUIs are pretty much lifted off the Dragon Quest games.
      • Three monsters the Invisible Boy catches are Expies of the Slime and Dracky enemies, specifically.
    • Papas is a comic book writer and artist. Among his previous works are Platinum Surfer, Z-Men, and Scawn.
    • Noge, an exchange student from Toyland, closely resembles Geno.
      • In addition, during the segment where the Hero kills the slime in the "Real" segment, they take a position that closely resembles battles in that game, complete with a sound effect from that game when the Hero uses his lightning spell.
    • The Hero's sword resembles the Buster Sword, complete with the two slots for materia.
  • Speaking Simlish:
    • Most characters in the game are "voiced" by recordings of real human speech in various languages, chopped up in a way that makes them sound like gibberish. Occasionally you can make out somewhat intelligible words and phrases, though they almost never overlap with the character's actual dialogue. There are some exceptions to this, such as animal characters like Yoshida (who chirps, since he's a bird), and the Boy's mother from the real world who tells him to "stop playing that game and go to bed!".
    • The ending credits theme, "KERA-MA-GO" by Clis, is a more straightforward version of this, and could easily pass for an original Simlish song.
  • The Stinger: Waiting long enough after the credits will trigger three new screens to appear. The first asks if you found Love, the second expresses hope that the Invisible Boy will see you again, and the third tells you to stop playing now.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Many story events are hidden or need to be pieced together over time and as you collect items, with the Minister's role in the game's events being very obtuse to find.
  • Stylistic Suck: The Fake Moon segment — the graphics, the overall structure, and the admittedly great music are way behind what the PlayStation was capable of, which is understandable as it is a parody of old-school RPGs, especially resembling the NES Dragon Quest titles.
  • Symbol Swearing: If you try to enter a swear word as your name, the game censors it with a bunch of "X" symbols.
  • Talk to Everyone: This is an RPG staple, and a key component of finding new Love, as talking to villagers, sometimes repeatedly, or presenting items can give hints.
  • Tragic Villain: The Hero is actually just a little boy who was targeted and forced into the cursed armor by the Minister and the castle guards, and who no longer knows how to do anything but kill. After he completes his murderous rampage, his body falls apart, with nothing but his armor left behind.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: The Hero, being a child who was essentially killed and brainwashed to create the murderous Hero as we know him.
  • Unwanted False Faith: Played with. Adder mistakes the Hero for God and Sid Vitness for a divine messenger. However, the Hero never learns about this.
  • Up the Real Rabbit Hole: Played with in the ending. Moon World is the inside of a game cartridge, as revealed by the rumroms having data on every inhabitant and their schedules, revealing none of the game's characters are 'real.' When the Boy turns off the game and goes outside to apply what he's learned in the real world, the game's characters are able to escape as well and live real lives free from the constraints of the game.
  • Waiting Puzzle: The souls of some monsters only come up at certain times, whereas a few obstacles only go away after you wait a bit. Then one monster requires you to wait until an obstacle gets reinstated then a monster's soul appears before you can catch the soul. The manual even lampshades the need of waiting.
    Moon World is constantly changing with time. Sometimes, it pays to be patient and wait. Put on your favourite MD and relax.
  • Wall of Text: Played for laughs. The lengthy intro of Fake Moon is almost nothing but massive walls of text filled with jargon and Purple Prose, a transparent parody of overly long, bloated, and cliché-filled RPG stories.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Humans and Moon people used to be friends, but the humans forgot about them for an unknown reason.

Alternative Title(s): Moon