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Video Game / Space Funeral

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"This is a JRPG no longer working in tropes, but in psychotropes."

Your name is Phillip. You happen to be an eternally-sad man clad in pajamas who exists in a gaudily-colored world of — interesting features and characters, but most of all a plentiful abundance of blood. Apparently, life wasn't always like this, and Phillip and his soon-to-be companion Leg Horse journey to the City of Forms in an effort to set everything right again.

Made by thecatamites using RPG Maker 2003 and released in 2010, Space Funeral technically does have role-playing elements, but they're downplayed in favor of emphasizing its odd, garish aesthetics. The game's music, a motley mix of mellow '60s classic rock, '80s Japanese electronica, and other antiqued styles, only adds to the weirdness. Other highlights include largely macabre-yet-amusing writing, and a seemingly nonsensical story that intertwines wizards, Lucy from Peanuts, pirate squids, cranky mummies, literal crime lords, living slabs of steak, and Dracula. Oh, and there's enough blood for everybody!

Although on the short side (it's possible to complete the game in well under an hour), Space Funeral is a fun deconstruction and parody of horror genres and role-playing games. You can find the game available for download here.

A Fan Sequel called Space Funeral 2 was created by Dark Chibi Shadow. Another one, Space Funeral: Earth Birth, was made by tumblr user Duck Stapler. Thecatamites himself actually liked the games and declared them canon (though the seriousness of it is debatable).

Space Funeral contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: The highest you can go is level 20, and it's pretty easy to get past level 10 even before facing off against the Blood Ghoul (the second boss) just by not running away from fights. Given the game's fairly low difficulty, though, this isn't a problem.
  • Arc Words: "It's too late for you."
  • Art Shift: The world turns into stock RPG Maker assets in the ending.
  • Big Bad: MOON is the one that corrupted the world, as she felt that everything other than the City of Forms is meaningless.
  • Bold Inflation: In old-school RPG fashion, the speeches of NPCs have important subjects in ALL CAPS - except most of them are completely unimportant.
  • Brown Note: One of the Mystery effects has Phillip sing an old song. Which gives all enemies heart attacks, instantly killing them.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss:
    • RIP-THE-BLOOD, who has 490 HP. Unusually for this trope, though, it isn't a bad thing since you can get the Zorg Cannon early on and he only has 75 Defense. He's also the only enemy in the game that won't die in one hit to his weakness. (Except the final boss who doesn't have one.)
    • MOON as well. She has a whopping 500 HP, so you're still unlikely to get a Game Over against her.
  • Deconstruction Game: The game deconstructs the strict formula of the Eastern RPG genre and its RPG Maker imitators. Space Funeral plays similarly to a standard RPG Maker game, but the game's Surrealism, incredibly messy art style, and nontraditional soundtrack distort the genre's traditions in such a way that the game ends up becoming a rather unique experience. In addition, the perfect City of Forms is an Allegory for the archetypal Eastern RPG game, and the main antagonist, Moon, destroys the City's perfection to build something original, which explains how and why the land of Space Funeral underwent a Great Change. Defeating Moon reverts the land of Space Funeral back to its normal state, which resembles a stock RPG Maker setting.
  • The Don: Rip-The-Blood is the leader of the Criminals occupying Malice and has to be defeated because his men are blocking the entrance to the forest. He resembles the other Criminals with his crown and cape designating him as the King Mook.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Space Funeral is the name of the setting, but it can also refer to the many coffins with Phillip's corpse scattered throughout the game. Later, it refers to the death of Moon, who is named after a celestial object.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: As his name suggests, Leg Horse is indeed a horse made out of legs.
  • Flowery Insults: Leg Horse likes these.
  • Forced Transformation:
    • After defeating Rip-The-Blood, a genie turns Phillip into a fish. You can see a wizard in Malice to restore him, or just play the rest of the game with Phillip stuck in fish form.
    • Moon reveals that her alterations of the City of Forms changed the the forms of everyone in Space Funeral.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The game's title is a clue to the ending. The Big Bad Moon dies.
    • The "Errors" found occasionally through the game, which resemble garbled blocks. They are an important element to the world's transformation. After finally getting to the City of Forms, the City appears completely glitched. The Big Bad MOON simply appears as a garbled mess of blue and red versions of previous sprites in the game.
    • Throughout the game, the Player can find coffins containing Phillip's corpse. At the end of the game, Phillip's true form is restored, meaning that his corrupted body has metaphorically died.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: MOON, upon seeing the perfect City of Forms, decides that all other things are meaningless in comparison.
  • Hidden Elf Village:
    • The Lion Village is a downplayed version of this as there is a lion villager that appears earlier at the Blood Docks and in the Mystery Forest, the path to the Lion Village is noticeable.
    • The actual elf village hidden nearby requires Phillip and Leg Horse to catch a number of elves before they reveal the secret entrance.
  • Idiosyncratic Menu Labels: That page image is not modded. The game really had the gall to rename all of the Start Screen's basic Start/Load/Quit functions as "Blood".
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Phillip, whose character is crying all the time.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Zorg Cannon is the best weapon in the game, and in Earth Birth as well. Even though there are stronger weapons the Zorg Cannon has a 50% critical hit rate which translates to better DPS.
  • Jackass Genie: After finding the genie that Rip-The-Blood is looking for, he grants Phillip's a really lame way. And then turns him into a fish for no reason.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Moon criticizes the City of Forms' perfection for stifling artistic creativity, but with the Art Shift Twist Ending in mind, her speech also works as criticism of the formulaic Eastern RPG game that adheres perfectly to the genre's conventions.
    • Likewise, Moon admits that she didn't go far enough in corrupting the City of Forms as she can still feel traces of the City's perfection, lampshading how the game, despite its genre subversion, plays similarly to a typical RPG Maker game. This leads her to conclude that another Great Change is necessary.
  • Mad Artist: MOON. The entire bizarre world is her work of “art”.
  • Mind Screwdriver: Yes, the world might seem utterly bizarre, but the plot soon reveals that there's a reason for that. It's been corrupted by an artist who went insane over finding the perfect city.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Blood Cavern. After a ride through a river, the game loses several of its sillier aspects and dumps the player off in to a red and black area with a "soundtrack" consisting of Ruth White reciting Charles Baudelaire's Spleen.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The thugs living in Malice all have names like Rip-The-Blood, Break-The-Bone, etc.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: While talking to the wizard in the Blood Caverns, he'll keep insisting on drinking Phillip's blood. Saying yes to him three times will result in him draining all of Phillip's blood and killing him.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: The "Errors" found occasionally through the game, which resemble garbled blocks. The City of Forms similarly looks corrupted, and Moon herself is a glitched combination of sprites.
  • One-Hit Kill: Every enemy in the game except the final boss is vulnerable to one of three items that will do enough damage to kill them in a single hit with the exception RIP-THE-BLOOD who has just enough HP to survive one.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: Phillip walks around in yellow and black footie pajamas at first. He has the option to upgrade these to leather and even chain mail pajamas later on.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Every boss gives an incredibly odd one before you fight them.
    Swamptrogg: It's not nice to disturb other people's naps.
    Blood Ghoul: Sometimes it seems my blood spurts out in gobs, as if it were a fountain's pulsing sobs. I clearly hear it mutter as it goes yet cannot find the wound from which it flows. Before I met you, baby, I didn't know what I was missing.
    Rip-The-Blood: Shall I tell you about the first man I ever killed? The night was clear and the moon was yellow and the leaves came tumbling down.
    MOON: Heh. Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.............. motherfuckerrrrrr!
  • Precision F-Strike: The game contains a lot of blood, but very little swearing. One noteworthy exception is the Final Boss:
    Heh. Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven........
  • Pure Is Not Good: The reason for the Big Bad’s crimes is this. MOON, an artist, went insane after seeing how pure and perfect the City Of Forms was because she realized that none of her art will ever match the City's perfection. Because of this, she decided to corrupt the City of Forms, which changed the entire world as well.
  • Quirky Town: Well, better described as a quirky world, really. Even after you manage to set things right and restore the world to much of its original and orderly state, there remain isolated traces of its former weirdness.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Moon's shapeshifting masks her true identity fairly well. It is only after the protagonists defeat Moon and purify the City of Forms, does Moon revert back to her true form and reveal that she is female.
  • Sdrawkcab Speech: Putting the large audio file that plays in with a cutscene and lots of static, putting it in Audacity, and reversing it reveals a witch reciting a spell.
  • Scenery Gorn: Much of the landscape is made of various skulls, bones, and discolored pools of unidentified liquids. Played straight in the Blood Cavern.
  • Shop Fodder: The Diamond Skull. Thankfully it can be sold for enough to buy a Zorg Cannon.
  • Shout-Out: One of the bosses is the 20th Century Boy.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The Big Bad gives an eloquent speech as to her motives, and even quotes Paradise Lost, only to proceed to call Phillip a “motherfuckerrrrrr”.
  • Stylistic Suck: Phillip has a noticeably choppy walking animation and every character looks like a grotesque drawing.
  • Surreal Horror:
    • The Blood Cavern in which the game's soundtrack segues into Ruth White's ominous recitation of Charles Baudelaire's poem Spleen. The stage itself has a Red Filter of Doom and the boss is a ghoul whose full body is never seen.
    • Moon's main body is an amalgamation of multiple bodies, which forms a terrifying blue-red creature.
  • Surreal Humor:
    • The Surreal Horror is often undercut by humor. Best exemplified by the Blood Cavern in which the nightmare boss quotes All Your Love by Albert King before attacking Phillip.
    • The Mystery option is a completely random option that can turn serious battles into a comedy routine. For example, against the Blood Wolves, there is a chance that Mystery option can force them to hemorrhage and explode or even die of blood clot.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Parodied. Bibles are effective against Criminal-type enemies, magic-eye pictures are effective against Animal-type enemies, and old films are effective against Ghost-type enemies.
  • Take That!:
    • One of the items you can buy in Malice's "CRAP STORE" is a Bible.
    • The entire game can be regarded as one against cliché Eastern RPG games and their RPG Maker successors. While it does have the trappings of said games, it also purposely subverts and deconstructs the elements of said games with the usage of surrealism, Stylistic Suck, and parody. If that's not enough, the antagonist, after losing to Phillip and Leg Horse, mocks them by telling them to enjoy their perfect world, which turns out to be a stereotypical RPG Maker setting.
  • Theme Naming: All the criminals have a name that follows an "X-the-Y" format, such as their leader Rip-the-Blood.
  • Throw the Book at Them: "CRIMINALS are a superstitious and cowardly lot! They're weak against BIBLES!"
  • Tomato Surprise: There is a Leaning on the Fourth Wall variation regarding Space Funeral’s uncorrupted, original form; the ending has the land revert to the default RPG Maker art style.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Hilariously, to competently navigate the main menu, one must recognize the standard placements for the "Start", "Load", and "Quit" options as they all are replaced with the same word, "Blood". This is averted for the actual game though.
  • Ultimate Life Form: The City of Forms is described as absolutely perfect, to the point that it serves as a sort of template for everything in the world, meaning that all of the characters' original designs are all examples of this trope. Of course, Moon tries to invert this by distorting the City of Forms, which distorts the rest of the world as a result.
  • Verbal Tic: Lucy tends to begin what she says with "Good grief!"
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: After the Great Change, Moon is the only character who can change her form although this is implied to be limited on her part.
  • Wild Card: The Mystery ability can be this. It can only be used once a battle and the effect is random: it could be beneficial, harmful, or just downright ridiculous.
  • Wretched Hive:
    Welcome to MALICE! We have MANY GOODS and CRIMINALS!