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Video Game / The Ditty of Carmeana

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The Ditty of Carmeana is a parody of action-adventure and other video games, especially The Legend of Zelda. It spoofs many of the clichés and weird situations that occur in video games. Although currently just a demo, it got some attention after Vinny from Vine Sauce streamed a playthrough of it.

The full game was released on Steam for Windows and can be found here. A playable demo from 2014 can be downloaded here.

Note: The gamer is asked to type in the Hero's name, but regardless of how it's spelled, it's pronounced "Lance". We will just spell it "Lance" in the trope listings.

Warning: Spoilers not marked in the trope listing. Read at your own risk.


The Ditty of Carmeana provides examples of:

  • American Gothic Couple: They appear as NPCs (with creepily happy faces) and are Lance's parents.
  • Anachronism Stew: The game is ostensibly set in medieval times but shamelessly throws in modern culture and technology, including a basketball player in full uniform, characters from a Grant Wood painting from 1930, and a credit card.
  • Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: Once you obtain a credit card, you can buy as much of anything in the game as you want. (Presumably you don't have to pay it off since this is just a demo.)
  • But Thou Must!:
    • After Lance talks to Mrs. Perry about her new invention, the refrigerator, he says that he should take it with him. If he tries to run away without taking the refrigerator, he will walk back to it, face the gamer, and say, "I said, 'I think I should take it with me'."
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    • If Lance tells Corporal Howser that he doesn't want to join the Army, Tabitha will berate him until he accedes.note 
  • Camera Screw: Invoked by the menu system, where the list of enemies contains an entry for The Camera, which is described as the most insidious enemy in the whole game. (It also happens to be the only enemy in the demo, but never mind that.)
  • Cap: Lance is not capable of carrying more than ten frequent flyer miles unless he buys a money bag that can hold 500 miles from the General Store (which, of course, costs 11 miles). This, despite the fact that he can carry a whole refrigerator in his pocket.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: There is a waterfall in Borringshire, behind which is a cave containting an Inexplicable Treasure Chest. A cut scene preceding this parodies how there always seems to be a treasure behind the waterfall.
  • Cyanide Pill: An item you can buy in the General Store is JJ's Fruit-Aid, which kills you if you drink it.
  • Exposition Break: While talking to Uncle Stoopnixie, a Cut Scene occurs to explain how Lance and Tabitha met (ten minutes ago).
  • Face Plant: During a bonus Cut Scene. As Lance charges out on his Glorious Quest to Rescue the Princess, he trips over a rock and faceplants into the ground.
  • Fairy Companion: Tabitha
  • Fictional Currency: The de facto unit of currency is the frequent-flyer mile.
  • Flyover Country: Lance's home is called "Flyover Province of Borringshire" by the opening narrator.
  • Genre Savvy: Tabitha, thanks to everything she learned in Sidekick School
  • The Grim Reaper: Appears in a cut scene in an Afterlife Antechamber the first time Lance dies. Has an unusual look for Death.
  • Hippie Van: The "chariot" that carries Lance's soul back to Earth when he continues looks like a VW Bus.
  • Hold Up Your Score: There's a wall in the game that Lance will vault over rather than just jumping. A few seconds after that, the game will flash Olympic scoring results for the jump.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Lance carries a refrigerator around in his pocket.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Several, including one in a gazebo in town that hasn't been opened in years.
  • No Fourth Wall: All. The. Time.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Corporal Howser, when recruiting Lance for the Army.
  • The Overworld: The Borringshire countryside
  • Pamphlet Shelf: Played with. The Borrington Library is actually a small table with a few books on it inside the Gymnasium.
  • Power-Up: Magic Spleens (which you have to eat raw)
  • Sarcastic Devotee: Tabitha, to Lance.
  • Save the Princess: The object of the game (though you never get close to it in the demo). The phrase "Rescue the Princess" is marked with a trademark sign everywhere it appears in the game, even in the captions.
  • Shooting Gallery: There's a bonus shooting gallery where the object is not to hit the target, but to miss the target.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Lance's parents are the two farmers from Grant Wood's painting American Gothic.
    • The jars located around Borrington look exactly like the jars in Zelda, and contain artifacts from other video games and Macguffins from various movies.
    • One item in the game is called Galileean Sandals, which let you walk on water.
    • The chamber where Lance wakes up after he dies is Number 14.
    • During a Cut Scene, Lance is able to make a fairy who was chasing Tabitha to make her buy Facebook stock cough up and die by saying, "I don't belive in fairies".
    • King Telcar's headdress is a low-poly version of the King of All Cosmos's headdress. He personally doesn't like the "stupid thing" and avoids wearing it outside of formal occasions.
  • Sidekick Creature Nuisance: Tabitha is deliberately designed to be one, parodying Navi from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. At one point she says, "Hey! Listen!"
  • Significant Anagram: Quite a few, it seems to be a source of a lot of names. Examples:
    • Tito Raul, the gym teacher, is an anagram of "tutorial".
    • Stoopnixie is an anagram of "exposition".
    • Bowtudgel, the name of the kingdom where the game takes place, is an anagram of "low budget".
  • Super Drowning Skills: Lance can't swim and he drowns if he jumps into deep water.
  • Tradesnark™: Video game clichés such as "Rescue the Princess" are trademarked, even in the captions.
  • Unlockable Content: The demo unlocks the town gates and the shooting gallery when you "beat" it.
  • Useless Item:
    • The jars around town contain "artifacts", which are items that the game describes as useless except to sell or for alchemy, neither of which are found in the demo.
    • Most of the items you can buy in stores are useless. Also the Refrigerator and the Banskerian Cap.
    • All weapons you can find or buy are useless since there are no enemies in the demo.
  • Walk on Water: You can do this after you've obtained the Galileean sandals.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: Many of the NPCs use the same character models.