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Video Game / Spark the Electric Jester

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Spark the Electric Jester is a PC Action Game by Brazilian indie developer Felipe "LakeFeperd" Ribeiro Daneluz, previously known for his ambitious Sonic the Hedgehog fangame trilogy. It had a Kickstarter campaign that raised $9,162, mostly so Lake could formally hire the team of composers that had helped in his previous projects.

The plot involves a jester named Spark who has lost his job to "Fark," a robot comedian designed to look just like him. Right after, robotkind happens to take steps into world domination. Spark soon finds his faker is among them and decides to travel the world and fight them off.

Spark features fast gameplay with momentum-based physics in the vein of Sonic games, much like Freedom Planet before it (both games have the same open-source community-made engine, Sonic Worlds, as a base), plus a series of weapons scattered around the levels that change Spark's attacks and attributes.

After a few delays, it was released on April 10th, 2017. Around a month later, the developer began teasing the production of a 3D sequel, Spark The Electric Jester 2, made on his own open-source HedgePhysics engine for Unity. It is a remake of Fark's storyline from the original game, and was released on Steam on May 16, 2019.


Starting at the end of 2019, LakeFeperd had been showing off screenshots of an upcoming project he was working on. On September 7, 2020, the project was revealed to be Spark the Electric Jester 3. Its release date is unknown.

This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Smog Sewers is actually a water purification system. The burning of residuals aggravates the pollution in Smog City, though.
  • Adult Fear: Spark's troubles in the prologue stem from robotics and automation making his degree useless for securing him employment, and it gets to the point where he has trouble scraping up the money to pay for his rent. He even gets laid off before he could collect his paycheck at one point.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Big Bad wants to Take Over the World and oppress all biological life to try and keep the computer he's meant to guard safe at all costs.
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  • All There in the Manual: The artbook explains a lot of things about the setting that the game itself doesn't and retcons all the previous information from the Kickstarter such as Spark earning a jester degree from a comedy university.
  • Alternate Continuity: Fark's story mode in this game is retconned by the sequel Spark The Electric Jester 2. The 1.5 update for Spark 1 states it is an alternate but "completely valid" outcome.
  • Annoying Arrows: The Archer form fires for low damage from a safe distance.
  • Astral Finale: The final battle between Super Spark and Freom takes place in outer space.
  • Auto-Revive: Collecting sparkling items fills a yellow bar at the top of the screen. If it gets full your character will revive with full health when you next get knocked out. The meter takes forever to fill, though, and is lost every time you die.
  • Battleship Raid: Megaraph Fleet is a huge level where you go through several battleships to destroy their guardians and then escape as they self destruct.
  • Bee Afraid: The Eeb enemies encountered in Kerana Forest and beyond.
  • Big Bad: Freom, a powerful robot who makes his entrance midway through the game.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Spark's race is named "formie". "Formiga" is Portuguese for "ant".
  • Bishōnen Line: Freom's second and third forms look both more human and less cartoonish.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: When playing as Fark, you're able to parry attacks. The better you block, the quicker the static gauge fills. The timing is very forgiving, such that messing up to a certain extent will just cause you to get blown away without actually receiving damage.
  • Bottomless Pits: Almost none to speak of, and even then you'd have to try to fall on them.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Super Spark is unlocked on Wishes Mode if you 100% the game.
  • Breakable Weapons: As in Kirby games, your current weapon flies away if you get hit too much.
  • Breath Weapon: The Fire Jester can spit out bursts of fire.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Fark's storyline is retold in the sequel and already diverges from the original from the very beginning.
  • Cartoon Creature: At first glance, Spark is a... fuzzy yellow person? Artwork shows his race, named "formies", has antennae, though, making them more like ant people.
  • Charged Attack: Its power greatly increases or changes into something else when the static gauge is full.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The VR headset you see in ads through the game actually plays a role in the third story mode, where Spark takes on Fark's adventure in virtual reality. With pain set to max.
  • Checkpoint: Circles marked "Save".
  • Collision Damage: Enemies don't deal damage just from touching you unless they're spiked.
  • Critical Annoyance: The borders of the screen flash red when you get hit at 4 HP or lower. At your Last Chance Hit Point a beeping sound similar to the one from Kirby games will also play.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Super Spark overwhelms Freom with a giant energy beam that you can't use in normal gameplay since your Finger Gun is replaced with a continous Rolling Attack in that form.
  • Dash Attack: The Knight form has one that you should use constantly as an air dash.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship:
    • In the demos, the robot pirates finish off a boss for you and then explain they're actually not on a rampage like the rest because they reject the global network. In the final version they still fire their cannons at the boss... for no apparent reason because the following cutscene was removed. The artbook justifies this as them accidentally destroying an ally while trying to kill Spark.
    • After the first ending, Spark goes on vacation and asks Fark to watch over his house, since they're sort of the same person. It is all rather abrupt, since, other than Fark saving Spark at the end, you don't really see them making peace or anything.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: There is no Game Over, so dying just sets you back to the last save point with the weapons you had back then. Your Auto-Revive gauge is set to zero, though.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: When playing as Fark, you can exchange your static gauge for a full heal and a period of invincibility when you fill just below half of it. But what happens if, after several successful parries, you fill it all the way? Super Fark happens, and it is awesome. However, you'll still need to watch out and avoid taking damage to both keep the static gauge full and avoid having to spend it for healing yourself.
  • Difficulty Levels: The hard difficulty added in the 1.5 update halves the HP gauge, adds latter enemies to early levels and increases bosses' HP on top of giving some of them attacks that are required to be parried.
  • Double Jump:
    • As an Edgy Jester, Spark can double jump. And the Wind Jester can triple jump. He can also double jump while riding the hover board by attacking in midair (jump and attack at the same time for the best effect). It is important to have one of those at all times for mobility.
    • One stage has pipes leaking liquid that grants you a double jump when they soak you.
  • Drop the Hammer: One weapon you can obtain.
  • Dummied Out:
    • Sonic and Tails as they were presented in Chrono Adventure are still buried under the game's code but all of their graphics, naturally, have been removed and replaced by a doodley icon of Spark's face.
    • The final version removed a cutscene after the boss fight in Network Coast.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Compared to the later two sequels which take after Sonic Adventure and its sequel in terms of gameplay, this game stands out, being a 2D side-scrolling platformer inspired by the Genesis-era games as opposed to the sequels which are 3D platformers.
  • Easter Egg:
    • There's a single RadioSEGA billboard set on a certain spot in the second stage.
    • Sunfire Forest contains a billboard reading "Start a fire today!", featuring seemingly a Sonic fan character.
    • A hidden "advert blocker" button in Smog City disables the ads found through the level when pressed.
    • If you press up on benches to try to sit on them, they turn into rockets and fly offscreen.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Fark hands out his Super mode right when Spark needs it the most. This form is only available for the final battle, even with Wishes mode activated. Fark on the other hand can turn Super in any level, though it is difficult to do.
  • Excuse Plot:
    • Spark got fired from his job and was replaced by a robot. Now the robots are rampaging around and Spark won't take that lying down. The final version of the game cuts some scenes, makes the opening narration extremely laconic and only starts building the plot and the antagonists' motivations towards the latter half of the game. Version 1.5, however, has a rewritten script.
    • On the second story mode the robots go on a rampage again, so the reformed Fark has to figure out why.
    • Spark's Challenge straight up has no actual plot. The events of the previous story have been turned into a VR simulation and Spark wants to try it out.
  • Expy:
    • Spark has Ristar's face and color, Sonic's body proportions and speed, and NiGHTS' jester motif.
    • Fark is basically Metal Sonic ("evil" robotic doppelganger of the hero) and Shadow the Hedgehog (amnesiac whose story follows his quest to find out about his past) in one.
    • Freom is based on Frieza from Dragon Ball Z.
  • Finger Gun: Spark's default Charged Attack. Which is powered to extreme lengths at the ending.
  • Fission Mailed: Spark appears to get killed by the Big Bad in a moment of Cutscene Incompetence, but then the scene cuts to Fark waking up and throwing his scepter aaaaaall the way to Spark, who uses its power to become Super.
  • Golden Super Mode: Fark uses a magical scepter to achieve a super form. You can bet Spark also gets his hands on that at the very end.
  • Good All Along: Fark is really a spy sent to destroy Freom, but the villain knew this all along.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Spark wears goggles in Wind form. Looking up makes him actually wear them over his eyes, aaand that's it.
  • The Goomba: The AI enemies that are just floating heads.
  • Goomba Stomp: Spark and Fark first meet with the latter bouncing on top of Spark's head.
  • Green Hill Zone: The rather short and easy Flower Mountain City opens the game. As you might have expected from the author, the area is predominantly blue instead of orange-brown. That color scheme is left for Network Coast, a Palmtree Panic-type level.
  • Guide Dang It!: The first tutorial doesn't explain that Spark's dash blocks damage on the first few frames. You might notice this if you spam it everywhere, or not (and it doesn't work for Fark). This mechanic is only explained on the opening cutscene for Spark's Challenge mode.
  • Happy Harlequin Hat: Spark and Fark wear one that grants them electrical powers. There are a few other jester hats that have power over different elements.
  • Have a Nice Death: Upon running out of HP, Spark collapses colorless and wide-eyed as the screen fades to black and the music cuts off. It's oddly eerie for the game. Fark's death animation is more comical in comparison, having him malfunction and fall offscreen while spinning just like most of the other robot characters.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: The Sword form can fire sword beams, summon blue spheres to knock on enemies, has more i-frames while dashing and its charge function makes Spark run faster and jump higher.
  • An Ice Person: The Cool Jester form attacks with ice.
  • Idle Animation: Several of Spark's forms don't even have a basic animation for his standing state, sadly. A couple of forms do have an unique animation, though:
    • Electric: Blinks.
    • Gravity: Floats on his back and sleeps.
    • Magical: Realizes what he's wearing and starts crying.
  • Informed Attribute: Spark is said to have a degree in comedy, but spends the entire game pissed off both from being fired and from all the fighting he's been doing. Fark claims Spark got fired (from a circus, but the final version omits this) because he wasn't that good to begin with, but Fark himself isn't particularly funny either. Chances are being a jester has more to do with performing acrobatics than making people laugh, though. Plus, Spark eventually decides to become an electric engineer.
  • Intelligent Gerbil: Downplayed, but Spark's species, the Formies, are lightly based on ants. They aren't Bee People and don't have a Hive Mind but they do have a highly conformist culture with a single language and can't understand one species being split into sub-cultures of language and factions because the idea is totally alien to them.
  • Insectoid Aliens: The Formies have antennae under their hats. Beta designs for them looked far more insectoid, with all of them but Spark having a pair of mandibles on their upper lips. Their names are reminiscent of the scientific name for ants, "formicidae", and the formic acid some types of ants can secrete.
  • The Jester: Spark and Fark.
  • Job-Stealing Robot: To add insult to injury, Spark got replaced by a robot made on his own image.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: The Mage Jester can charge and fire energy balls and beams.
  • Leitmotif:
    • "Vs. FARK" is a Boss Remix of Spark's own title screen theme.
    • "Special Boss" has lyrics related to Fark's desire to surpass Spark.
  • Knife Nut: Edgy Jesters wield awfully lethal knives. According to the artbook, those blood-red knives ended up being mass-produced and are easily obtainable by the general public.
  • Level Goal: Goal Signs, like in Sonic games. Oddly enough, you can sometimes save time by jumping over them and walking to the edge of the level. There's no score system for the Level Clear screen to add to, anyway.
  • Limit Break: Filling the static gauge through combos or parrying hits unlocks a super move for the form you're using. Examples include:
    • Electric Jester: A huge Finger Gun beam.
    • Edgy Jester: A Chaos Blast-esque full screen explosion.
    • Sword Jester: Allows you to jump very high and run fast for a while.
    • Knight Jester: Gives you a shield that functions the same way as the normal one from Sonic games. You're forced to stay on Knight form, but as long as you don't get hit twice in a row you won't risk dying on boss fights, making this one very much Boring, but Practical.
    • Fark: The gauge can be converted into a full heal and a period of invincibility once it is 40% full. If it fills all the way Fark turns into his super self.
  • Marathon Level: Each campaign is around 4 hours long with levels that can last for over 5 minutes.
  • Master of All: Spark specializes in electricity but has no problem wielding any of the other jester abilities, which tend to be much more powerful and versatile than going on with his default stuff. In comparison, Fark can only use electricity but compensates with his own moves such as a Spam Attack and a super form. Previews for the 3D sequel, however, show he's planned to use different jester abilities as well.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Mage Jester form. Spark's attacks are much stronger, and his charged attack is an impressive Kamehame Hadouken, but he doesn't run as fast as his other forms.
  • Mirror Boss:
    • Secret A.I. Moves aside, Fark fights similarly to Spark during his boss battle.
    • One of the forms Freom's virus takes is that of Super Fark.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Spark comes across a crew of robot pirates and fights them in the confusion. In the demos he learned they're not connected to the "Holographic Computer" and didn't go rogue like the other robots, but this plot point was dropped in the final game and so the pirates were all Demoted to Extra.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Spark's Challenge mode reduces you to a mere 2 HP, so you can't afford to be reckless and rush around as much. It is hard enough that the game finally reveals phasing through attacks if you time a dash just right is a general skill for Spark and not one exclusive to his Sword form. The timing is less forgiving than the parrying mechanic, though, and you will have to deal with that.
    • Clearing that unlocks a mission mode involving ultra hard no damage runs and such.
    • Hard mode ranges from "how the game should have been in the first place" to Fake Difficulty in its enemy placement and several bosses gain attacks that must be parried. The player's health is halved, so Fark also becomes a Two-Hits Point Wonder.
  • Not Quite Dead: After being killed by Spark, Freom becomes a virus and still amasses a new army made of palette swaps of his former soldiers.
  • Notice This: There are signs in Smog City telling you to "get dashy" to break certain barriers. On areas filled with enemies and hazards, the signs will also warn you to take it slow.
  • Oh, Crap!: When a small set of robot ships are flying away after the sixth stage's boss fight, Spark hops onto one and, lacking any better ideas, punches it. Instead of breaking it, it promptly boosts forwards, knocking Spark onto his ass with a freeze frame pretty much silently screaming this before it barrels out of control and flies off into the distance.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: Spark really wants to kick Fark's ass. Stopping the robot uprising is just a bonus.
  • Player-Exclusive Mechanic: Fark as a boss performs moves the player can't use when playing as him, but he won't parry attacks or turn invincible and heal himself, either.
  • Playing with Fire: The Fire form has fire breath and burning dash attacks basically identical to Kirby's equivalent form, but he can also kick fire blasts in three directions. The flames will also turn blue and become stronger if you use them correctly.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Everyone in the game assumes that Violence Is the Only Option. Eventually Spark gets tired of even trying to ask what's the point of the uprising and just tells the antagonists to take on him.
  • Retcon: The original version of Spark and its artbook have information that contradict those from the Kickstarter, but that's understandable. However, the Fark sequel retcons his story as presented in this game. The 1.5 update then overhauled the entire script, significantly changing the characterization of a few characters.
  • Robot Me: Spark's robot rival, literally named "Spark The Electric Jester's Replacement''. Spark calls him "Fark" instead. He acts much like the original, but is antagonistic and more sarcastic in tone.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Like Sonic Chrono Adventure, the game hasn't been quite spell-checked.
    • "Whishes Mode" appears right on the main menu instead of "Wishes", but this seems to be sort of Running Gag the developer has going on. Even in 1.5 this wasn't fixed.
    • At the pause menu: "Quit (Game); Quit (Memu)". Fixed in the 1.5 update.
  • Rolling Attack:
    • The ground roll we know and love from Sonic is only doable in Wind Jester form.
    • The Electric Bat grants a mid-air roll. Imagine if Sonic's Insta-Shield had like four times more range and could be used repeatedly in a single jump. Yeah...
    • Super Spark has no Charged Attack, but instead does a continuous airbone rolling attack with his scepter.
  • Rotoscoping: Some of the larger characters are drawn over CG models.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Worn by Spark and Fark.
  • Servant Race: GPAs, with the floating head variety being the next step up from smartphones, following around their users and answering any questions they may have, or holding conversations with them. The full body "R-Models" are built for more specialized, laborious tasks, such as security or construction work. This often ends up with Formies losing their jobs in those areas, though.
  • Shock and Awe: Spark's default powers, obviously.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Spark regards "Fark" as his faker (though the line from the intro in which he actually calls Fark that has been cut from the game). A confrontation scene right out of Sonic Adventure 2 makes the reference clear.
    • Firing an energy ball from a Finger Gun, pose and scowl? Maybe instead of being a jester, Spark should try investing for a spirit detective career.
    • The Edgy Jester carries a red dagger and can use an explosion attack, likely in reference to characters like Shadow The Hedgehog and Ryuko from Kill la Kill, who were often called "edgy" by fans. In the development previews for the 3D game, Edgy Fark even has Shadow's distinct running animation.
    • There's an ad for RadioSEGA in the second stage.
    • Smog City has several signs pointing to locations from Lake's Sonic fangames. Some level gimmicks from those games are also reused in this one.
    • A certain cannon enemy appears to be designed after the "DNA Cannons" from Freedom Planet.
    • On that note, if you try to sit on benches because it could be done in Freedom Planet (or in Castlevania games), they just... fly away instead. Yeah...
    • Wereohsee is a hedgehog robot that runs with Wheel o' Feet. In the second story mode it is joined by a second hedgehog, Ohsee, that does rolling attacks and charges Spin Dashes.
    • The final stage has an auto-pilot gimmick that sends you flying through a trail of rings. This is lifted from Sonic 3 and Knuckles' Death Egg Zone.
    • Super Fark and Super Spark, obviously. But hey, Sonic stole it from Dragon Ball Z first anyway!
    • One of Freom's virus forms looks and fights much like the final bosses of Kirby games: a spooky blob of darkness who uses Teleport Spam.
      • In addition, Freom himself is wearing shoes that look suspiciously similar to Shadow's hover skates
    • One of the game's Steam trading cards is an In-Joke about how the Discord server for Sonic Fan Games HQ had dozens of reaction images and memes poking fun at the author and the game's development.
    • The first phase of the Freom battle features a mecha that resembles Opa-Opa.
  • Spot the Imposter: Despite attempting to pretend to be Freom, The Prototype looks nothing like the villain. However the sequel later reveals Freom's true body to bear a striking resemblance to the Prototype revealing he was impersonating Freom's true self.
  • Spiritual Successor: Greatly inspired by 16-bit platformers such as Sonic, Kirby and Mega Man X. And also obviously a follow-up to LakeFeperd's previous Sonic fangames.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Spark cannot drown when underwater.
  • Take That!: Wereohsee and Ohsee are stand-ins for Modern and Classic Sonic, respectively. The first, named after the Werehog of all things, runs around clumsily and trips over, only to regain its composure and strike with melee attacks. The second one curls into a ball and pulls some rolling bounces and spin dashes, as is befitting of old-school Sonic gameplay.
  • Trick Boss: The Prototype attempts to pull a big Life's Work Ruined speech to setup the supposed Final Battle with him only to be taken out by the real Big Bad, Freom, mid-way through his fight.
  • Video Game Dashing: Needed to dodge through stuff and run over walls. When playing as the Sword Jester it also has more invincibility frames. This is important to learn as several things in Spark's Challenge mode seem designed to force you into some Deadly Dodging. Playing as the Edgy or Fire Jesters can be very helpful since they also have an air dash. Do note, however, that Fark lacks any invincibility on his dashes.
  • Video Game Flight: The Gravity Jester can float around.
  • Video Game Tutorial: The game opens with an optional interactive tutorial where Spark explains the basics to you. Unfortunately, the game deliberately never tells you how to phase through attacks with your dash until Spark's Challenge mode. The second playable character also gets a tutorial but it is text-only.
  • Walk on Water: The Cool Jester does this by freezing the surface of water.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Super Spark destroys Freom with a gigantic "Kamehameha" shot with a Finger Gun gesture.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Take a shot every time a villain tells Spark to die. Kick yourself in the rear whenever Spark reacts to their threats with disinterest. The antagonist of Fark's story even goes on a Madness Mantra of death threats at some points.
  • The Worf Effect: Later in the game Spark finds himself surrounded by lots of powerful enemies, only for them to be quickly destroyed by turrets and mechs belonging to the army. Not too long after, though, you also come across several "neutralized" soldiers who have been defeated by the boss, a robot you saw early in the stage. The artbook states the military was ineffective due to the world, which is only one nation, not experiencing any wars for centuries.


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