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Video Game / Slime Forest Adventure

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Feel the power of my mighty kanji!*
- Tagline

Slime Forest Adventure, or "Project LRNJ," is a retro-style RPG for PCs. To win, you must learn the Japanese language. Not your character; you, the player.

Enemies attack by throwing Japanese at you. You have to respond by typing the correct meaning or pronunciation (whichever is asked for). If you make a mistake, you lose health, after which the correct answer (usually with a mnemonic) will be displayed.

You can download the free demo and buy the full version from the Project LRNJ website.

Contains examples of:

  • Three-Quarters View: Everything except the combat screen.
  • All Just a Dream: If you die, it will turn out that you dreamed everything that happened since you "woke up" that morning. You'll still be very low on health, though.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Studying anything is best done in short, frequent sessions. You learn faster, and retain the knowledge longer. This game has several features to encourage you to do this:
    • You can fully restore your health by eating a meal in your home. You only get three meals per (real time) day.
    • Sleeping in a bed saves and exits the game. It will also restore your health if you wait long enough before continuing.
    • If you wait too long before playing again, the inn will charge you extra for overstaying.
  • Broken Bridge: Most of the castle is blocked by NPCs in inconvenient spots, who will move out of the way in response to certain game events (although over half of the trigger events aren't in the game yet).
  • Captain Colorbeard: The Pirate's actual name is "Silverbeard II".
  • Character Level: There is a rudimentary level system in place, included mostly because it's simply expected of an RPG. The real leveling that takes place is in the player learning more Japanese.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Green slimes teach kanji meanings (usually; sometimes the identifiers aren't strictly a valid translation)
    • Bright blue slimes teach katakana.
    • Red slimes teach hiragana*.
    • White slimes teach romaji pronunciation.
    • Dull blue slimes teach kanji on'yomi readings.
    • There are actually a few enemies that aren't just palette swapped slimes, such as the whales that teach kanji kun'yomi readings.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Again, as a Retraux RPG, this is a given for both the hero and enemies.
  • Disc-One Nuke: The game becomes really easy if you already know Japanese.
  • Edutainment Game: Its explicit purpose is to teach you Japanese. What did you expect?
  • Escape Rope: The "Escape Twine" returns you to the surface from anywhere in any dungeon.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Pirate actually does have a name, which he will tell you if you talk to him, but everyone else just calls him "The Pirate".
  • Excuse Plot: It's something about a potato farmer and a kidnapped princess, but really, if you're playing this game for any reason other than learning Japanese, you're doing it wrong. (A stated goal of the developer is to eventually make the game fun for anyone, even those with no interest in Japanese. But it still has a way to go in that regard.)
  • Fauxlosophic Narration: Only once. In the first level of the first dungeon, when opening one particular chest, the text reads, "Fortune smiles upon thee, and laughs at something that's not really funny. Thou hast found the herb!"
  • Fight Woosh: A closeup of a slime momentarily blocks the screen. When it moves, there's the fight screen.
  • Get on the Boat: After you buy it from The Pirate.
  • Graphics-Induced Super-Deformed: Just look at the page image.
  • Guide Dang It!: The entire "Mine the Hills for Minerals" quest:
    • First, you first have to find all the tools yourself, one of which is very well hidden, with no clues.
    • Using a tool while standing on a hill tile results in a generic "Nothing found" message. You have to be standing on another type of tile, facing the hill you want to mine, to be able to successfully use the tool.note 
    • You have to give all the needed rocks to the smith at the same time. If you just give him one rock, he will complement you on it, which makes you think that you're making progress, but what actually happened is that you just lost that rock for no gain.
  • Healing Herb: The Herb.
  • Improbable Weapon User: You start the adventure with a hoe as your only weapon.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: All over the place. In fact, with the exception of stores and a mining mechanic (that's only used once in the whole game), chests are the only way to get items.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: There's a woman in one home who will tell you that she has just enough money to feed her six children for the winter. If you open the chest next to her, you get 200 gold from it.
  • Level Grinding: Complete with a "Summon Monster" item, so you don't have to wait for random encounters.
  • Money Spider: The slimes are attracted to gold. It's why they attack you, and why the local economy is going down the drain. The gold you get for killing them is just the gold they took from someone else.
  • Monsters Everywhere: Well, except for the hills.
  • No Hero Discount:
    • Averted in an interesting way. You're not actually a hero, you're a potato farmer, so there's no real reason for anyone to give you a discount.
    • Inverted by the king. If you bring him some evidence that you've actually got a shot at rescuing his daughter, he'll just give you an axe to replace the hoe that you've been using.
  • NPC Roadblock: A few appear in the castle and block access to staircases or rooms. The standard NPCs block access to restricted areas, and there's at least one NPC that's mobile but will never leave their single-width corridor because he's not sure where he's going.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: It's the whole point of the game.
  • Palette Swap: See Color-Coded for Your Convenience.
  • Play Every Day: If you take too long between sessions, the inn charges you for overstaying.
  • Save the Princess: After which, you become a member of the royal guard, which opens up more of the castle to you, and gives you the opportunity for more quests.
  • Save Point: Beds. Inns will charge you for the use of their beds. Other beds (such as the one at your house) are free, but while you sleep, slimes will steal more than what the inn would have charged.
  • Self-Made Orphan: The Pirate's father killed his mother, so he stole his father's pistol and "sent him to apologize."
  • Shout-Out: The kanji 奇, meaning "bizarre", is written with the radicals "big" (大) and "able" (可). The hint given for it: "'Embiggenable' is a bizarre word".
  • Take Your Time: There's no concept of time passing in this game. At all.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: The Pirate.
  • Talk to Everyone: Again, Retraux RPG.
  • There Are No Tents: And the inns are also save points.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: There isn't a town in the game with more than 20 individuals.
  • Trauma Inn: But only if enough real time passes before you load the game again.
  • Video Game Geography: Hilariously lampshaded by the guy at the entrance to one town; he's trying to make a map of the world, and driving himself batty in the process.
  • Wallet of Holding: You can carry up to 999,999 gold pieces with no restrictions whatsoever.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Oh, so very much. In fact, one castle guard says nothing but "Welcome to the Castle," which causes their friend to say "I think there's something seriously wrong with my partner."
  • With This Herring: You start out with a hoe, and the clothes on your back.
  • Wrap Around: But only after you get the boat.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: There are maybe six different sprites for NPCs, total.