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Video Game / The Town with No Name

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The Town with No Name is a 1992 video game on the Commodore CDTV and PC platforms made by Delta 4 Interactive and published by On-Line Entertainment for the CDTV version and Prism Leisure Corporation for the PC version.

The game's main character is simply called The Man with No Name (who has nothing to do with Clint Eastwood's famous character, although an expy of him does appear at several points in the game as a background character), who arrives at the titular town.


Tropes:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: While the animation is in 2D, the backgrounds are in (crude) CGI.
  • Advertised Extra: The title screen (shown at the end of the tutorial) gives the impression that the Clint Eastwood expy (known as the man with the cigarette in-game) is the protagonist. In reality, you play as an unrelated Man with No Name, and the man with the cigarette only shows up a few times in-game.
  • Affably Evil: While Evil Eb is the Big Bad, he's only "a bit annoyed" after No Name has killed Eb's gang. After No Name defeats him during their duel, the two head into the saloon for whisky.
  • Alliterative Name: Most members of the Hole-in-the-Head gang have these. The exceptions are Redneck Calhoun, Massive Jake, and Evil Eb's littlest brother. Downplayed with Wildcard McVee, whose real first name is Willy.
  • Anachronism Stew: While the game is set in the Wild West, Bad Bart has long hair and earrings, which are blatantly late 1980s or early 1990s.
  • Anachronistic Soundtrack: Despite this game taking place in the Wild West, several songs are very clearly from the early 1990s.
  • ...And 99: Wildcard McVee has a bounty of US $4,999.95.
  • Artistic License Biology: Real spiders have light blue blood, not deep red.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The priest that is found in the church will float up into the heavens if you go and pray there.
  • Bar Slide: If the player orders a drink from the bartender, it triggers a small "minigame" where the player has to catch it while it slides along the bartop.
  • Big Bad: Evil Eb, the leader of the Hole-in-the-Head Gang, is the final boss.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: The telegram No Name receives when Crafty Clint arrives in town reads, "CRAFTY CLINT SEEN HEADING FOR TOWN TO AVENGE ETC ETC BLAH BLAH STOP".
  • Blatant Lies:
    • The "full credits" option in the main menu directs to another menu with alternate options.
    • The game's tutorial shows you how to shoot your gun by suggesting you eliminate a "fierce-looking character". Said character is a defenseless old man peeking out from behind an outhouse, giving the impression the player is a Trigger-Happy Dirty Coward; the old man appears in-game as a benevolent if senile character.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Profusely so, as Evil Eb's littlest brother dies from his gunshot wound.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Oddly enough, No Name getting his head shot off by the man with the cigarette is completely bloodless.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Trying to shoot the man with the cigarette wil get your head shot clean off from the neck.
  • Boss Game: Thanks to the lack of any meaningful side content in-between the fights with Evil Eb and his gang, the game effectively ends up as one of these. The gameplay boils down to fighting a gang member, entering a building, leaving it, then fighting another gang member, rinse and repeat.
  • But Thou Must!: You have no way out of killing Evil Eb's youngest brother and incurring the wrath of the other gang members. The brother's shots will never hit you no matter how long you stand there without moving, and you'll kill the brother even if you miss your own shot.
  • Camp Gay: Massive Jake, one of the villains, sounds like this.
  • Chick Magnet: Wildcard McVee seems to attract many women, judging by the "McV + Girl" hearts next to his wanted poster.
  • City with No Name: Implicitly the titular town, although "The Town with No Name" tends to be treated as a nickname of sorts.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Unless you kill him before he can do it, McVee will shoot you from under the table Han Solo-style after you beat him at cards.
  • Continuing is Painful: The game has no save option, meaning every time you die, you have to start from the very beginning.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: The good ending, where No Name, who was supposed to meet up with his sister, learns he has been in the wrong town all this time. All the conflict in the game turns out to be a goofy misunderstanding.
  • Covers Always Lie: The CDTV version's cover would lead people to believe that the game is in live-action (not unlike another Delta 4 game, Psycho Killer). The game itself is a cartoon. Averted by the DOS version's cover, which simply shows an assortment of cowboy gear, a pistol with bullets, and an American flag.
  • Cutting the Knot: When Wildcard McVee challenges the player to a duel after losing at cards, you can shoot him immediately. While not very honorable, the game considers it the only viable option, as he kills you mid-sentence if you don't.
  • Death as Comedy: Nobody seems to take dying seriously in this game.
  • Death by Cameo: If you choose to get back on the train at the start of the game, Joey from Shane shows up begging you to come back. No Name shoots him and says his name isn't Shane.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: No Name offers Evil Eb a round of drinks after learning he's in the wrong town. He considers it payback for killing Eb's entire gang.
  • Deranged Animation: The cutscenes to say the least, which use a blend of CGI backgrounds and traditional animation.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Evil Eb himself siccing an entire gang on some random stranger who shot and killed his littlest brother in self-defense. This is even more disproportionate if you miss, as a vulture takes him out instead.
    • One ending has No Name shooting a kid for calling him "Shane".
    • Win at cards against McVee even once, and he'll demand a showdown to the death out in the streets. He cheats, however, and shoots you from underneath the table if you don't shoot him during his tirade first.
  • The Drifter: No Name admits he's one to Eb after their duel.
  • Dull Surprise:
    • Whoever voiced Bad Bart seriously did not care about projecting any sort of emotion in his acting. Nor does the person voicing No Name, whom Retsupurae describes as sounding like "John Wayne with a stroke".
    • The moment No Name shoots McVee after the latter loses in cards and attempts to coax his opponent into a duel, McVee comments on his torn waistcoat, with a monotone voice, as he drops to his death.
      "Oh, no. This waistcoat is ruined."
  • Dying Town: A literal example. According to the bartender, The Town With No Name isn't as populous as it used to be, as most of the people living there have died.
  • Easily Forgiven: At the end of the game, Evil Eb suddenly backs down on wanting to kill No Name, indicating that he only ever wanted to kill him because he thought he was Billy Bob, rather than the little matter of No Name having gunned down Evil Eb's entire gang.
  • Easter Egg:
    • If you click on the pebbles below the signpost in the title screen, an image of the pebbles with googly eyes and the subtitle "The Pebble People" is shown, with the pebbles singing a brief tune, before one person tells them to shut up.
    • The "Main Menu" option directs you to a "making of" bit (which features weird pictures of the developers) and a "special mystery option" (which includes more weird pictures, what appears to be a "special thanks" credit, a zen saying, and trailers for other On-Line Entertainment games).
  • Epic Fail: Redneck Calhoun, the former leader of the Hole-in-the-Head gang, accidentally hacked himself to death while shaving.
  • Ethereal Choir: A choir is used to accompany the priest walking up to No Name and floating into the heavens.
  • Evil Wears Black: Evil Eb wears a black duster and Stetson.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: If you miss the first boss by shooting to the side, the bullet ends up hitting a vulture in the sky, which then crashes into the boss.
  • The Expy With No Name: Two of them: the cigarette man is a direct expy appearance-wise, while No Name himself shares his name with the more famous character.
  • The Faceless: The sheriff's hat is the only part of him that can be seen.
  • Foreshadowing: Two newspapers you can find in the town house reference an upcoming duel between Evil Eb and Billy-Bob. Turns out Eb and his gang mistakenly thought No Name was Billy-Bob.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Upon finally meeting with Evil Eb himself, he seems to be more concerned about avenging his gang than his littlest brother. Apparently, whisky is stronger than familial bond.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Before the Zippy Zeke and Crafty Clint duels, they can be seen in the background as the sheriff hands No Name a telegram alerting him of their presence.
  • Fuzzball Spider: The old prospector has one as a pet, but No Name crushes it when he gets off the train. Getting back on the train leads it to be crushed a few more times, and it leaves quite the blood splatter.
  • Gainax Ending: One alternate ending ends with No Name getting back on a train, shooting a kid for calling him Shane, and then the train flies off into space.note 
  • Gag Nose: The priest has a big nose and nostrils.
  • The Ghost:
    • Billy-Bob, the meanest outlaw anywhere, is challenged to a duel by Evil Eb as written in one of the town's newspapers. Evil Eb assumes Billy-Bob shot the rest of the Hole-In-The-Head Gang, but it turns to be No Name.
    • Immortal Isaac, seen in the rogues' gallery, is a possible example. Isaac has no confirmed appearances in the game, but if you shoot the mysterious knife-wielding figure, a question mark will be drawn on Isaac's wanted poster.
  • The Grim Reaper: Appears out of nowhere in place of Mr. Diablo after you have killed Zippy Zeke and Crafty Clint to confirm that they are dead. The animation for the Reaper is really bad.
  • Guide Dang It!: While every other fight is triggered by entering and exiting any building, Wildcard McVee only appears when you go into the saloon and start a game of Find the Lady with the bartender, and only after you kill Crafty Clint. You also need to shoot him under the table while he's challenging you to a duel, or else he'll do the same to you.
  • Guns Akimbo: Evil Eb is seen holding two revolvers. However, he uses a rifle in the duel. In some unused animations, he randomly pops up from behind buildings and fires at the player using the pistols anyway. Regardless, why he changes his weapon is never explained.
  • Have a Nice Death: Some of the ways No Name can die include being gunned down in a duel before he can finish his book, having his head shot literally clean off by the man with the cigarette, or shattering like glass after Wildcard McVee shoots him under the table. The only death that isn't explicitly played for laughs is when you enter a room on the second floor of the saloon and No Name has a knife thrown at him by an unknown assailant and the screen turns blood-red if he is hit. Getting killed also leads to the camera careening towards your grave, followed by a shot of the Ghost with No Name, who (in a hick voice) tells the player to press the A button to start over.
  • Hat Damage: If you shoot Evil Eb, his hat is shot off.
  • Hypocrite: Wildcard McVee accuses No Name of cheating during their game of Chase the Ace and demands a showdown out in the streets. Yet he shoots you from under the table before he even finishes his sentence.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Evil Eb's littlest brother is a terrible shot. How terrible? Even if you stay completely still and don't react to his shots, he will still never hit you.
  • Jerkass:
    • The Man with No Name is an asshole. At one point, should you choose to talk with the old timer, he repeatedly rubs it in the old timer's face that he has killed the old timer's pet (thankfully, the guy is too senile to get it). In the Gainax Ending, he sadistically stomps the spider's corpse even more and then proceeds to murder a child for quoting Shane.
    • Defeating Evil Eb has him treating the former to a whisky, cheerfully admitting that he's just earned a small fortune out of killing Eb's entire gang.
  • Kaizo Trap: Wildcard McVee gets angry from you winning at cards and challenges you for a duel. McVee lies and kills you in the saloon unless you shoot at him during his tirade.
  • Kilroy Was Here: "Uncle Jesse was here!" is found written next to the wanted poster of Nasty Ned in the Jailhouse.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: One of the game's possible deaths is to get shot to shards like glass.
  • Last Words: Anybody who isn't Zippy Zeke, Crafty Clint, Evil Eb, or hostile has some to say:
    Man With No Name: "Darn! Just one more page, and I would have finished this book..."
    Evil Eb's Littlest Brother: "Dang, that's torn it!" or "Ya missed me! (Gets hit by a vulture)"
    Nasty Ned: "Caramba! That really hurt! Oh, I've got to fall over now so byeeeee!"
    Wildcard McVee: "Oh no, this waistcoat is ruined... and it's gone right through the shirt, as well!"
    Massive Jake: "Oh dear, that wasn't supposed to happen!"
    Bad Bart: "I'm not pleased about this at all..."
  • Love Theme: A badly hummed song is played when the Man With No Name is with the prostitute. In the PC version, the song is replaced by... saucy noises between the two.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Most victims take getting shot rather lightly.
    Man With No Name: "Darn. Just one more page and I would have finished this book..."
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The late Hole-in-the-Head Gang leader Redneck Calhoun unwittingly hacked himself to death while shaving. No doubt, he would have had a literally red neck from all the bleeding.
    • One of the conversations with the old man reveals that his pet spider's name is... "Squishy". The spider was, of course, squished by the Man With No Name at the beginning.
  • Meanwhile Scene: With the Back to the Future font for some reason.
  • Mind Screw: Quite a few elements go into this territory, such as the floating priest.
  • Misplaced Accent:
  • Multiple Endings: Not counting the game overs, there are two endings. Either The Man With No Name boards a train, kills a child, and then the train flies into space, or he duels Evil Eb, but spares him because it turns out it was all a misunderstanding and the two go into the saloon for a whisky.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • The player is treated to a victorious orchestral sting after No Name successfully catches a glass on the bartop.
    slowbeef: This is The Western equivalent of getting a piece of the Triforce!
    • Played for Laughs in the same manner when No Name enters the Store and takes its "once-in-a-lifetime never-to-be-repeated mega-special offer": one baked bean (out of 425).
    • The scene where No Name meets the man with the cigarette. Everything he says to the cigarette man is met with a Little "Yes" or a Little "No".
    • Choosing to go downstairs in the saloon leads to No Name jumping off the second floor.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Hole-In-The-Head Gang.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • One Recurring Extra (the man with the cigarette) is obviously based on Clint Eastwood and another character (who appears in one scene) is based on Lee Van Cleef.
    • Mr. Diablo (the undertaker who shows up briefly after you kill most of the bandits) looks like a deformed Abraham Lincoln.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Some characters don't even try to have an American accent, such as Wildcard McVee, Massive Jake, and the priest.
  • No One Should Survive That!: The priest pessimistically tells the Man With No Name that he's going to be viciously gunned down by Eb's gang. Coming back to the church after winning a few duels gives this reaction:
    Priest: You're alive? Coolie, this is a miracle.
  • Off with His Head!: If the Man with No Name tries to attack the man with the cigarette, he'll retaliate by shooting the former's head clean off.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ:
    • Dramatic pipe organ music plays when you choose to visit the church. Ironically, neither the church nor the priest inside are really "evil," though they are just as weird as the rest of the game.
    • The infamous "You have the right time?" cutscene. The man with the cigarette asks another man if he has the time. The second man looks at his watch as a tinkly music box tune plays. The tune quickly switches to a dramatic, cacophonous, and very loud reprise on organ before returning to the music box for a split second at the end. The second man simply says "No."
  • One Last Smoke: Bad Bart does this after being shot.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: While Wildcard McVee already doesn't have a good American accent, it completely falls apart when he says his "waistcoat" is ruined; "waistcoat" is the British English term for a vest.
  • Optional Boss: The assailant on the saloon's second floor is optional. He's not affiliated with Evil Eb's gang whatsoever.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: Yes, you can sleep with a prostitute if you want. But make sure you take a bath first.
    [The prostitute faints.]
    The Man With No Name: It seems my deodorant has just failed.
    (Alternatively)
    The Man With No Name: Oh no. What a time to discover I have a hygiene problem.
  • Overly-Long Gag:
    • The "Wanted" posters, showing everyone in the Hole-In-The-Head Gang.
    • At one point, the man with the cigarette asks for the time from a Lee Van Cleef expy, who looks into his watch over some creepy organ music for nearly twenty seconds, before uttering a simple "no".
    • The sex scene apparently goes on for over a week.
    The man with the cigarette: Man's got ammunition...
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Evil Eb's entire gang is guilty of this, though special points go to his littlest brother.
  • Parental Incest: Someone has carved next to Massive Jake's wanted poster that he loved his mom, which is why he shot his dad.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The entire plot happens because Evil Eb's Littlest Brother presumably mistakes The Man With No Name for Billy-Bob and immediately starts shooting (or just starts shooting at him for no good reason). Throughout the rest of the game, the other outlaws are so caught up in avenging the previous outlaw that nobody thinks to actually make sure they have the right target.
  • Posthumous Character: Redneck Calhoun was the previous leader of the Hole-In-The-Head Gang. He accidentally hacked himself to death while shaving.
  • Press Start to Game Over: The very first option screen of the game allows No Name to just get straight back on the train he arrived in. Considering the main ending reveals No Name got off at the wrong stop, this is actually the correct choice.
  • Retirony: One of the Game Over scenes has a variation of this, where No Name laments that he was one page away from finishing a book before he died.
  • Rotoscoping: Used for quite a few characters: the man with the cigarette and the Lee Van Cleef expy are both rotoscoped from scenes from For a Few Dollars More.
  • Rustproof Blood: The spider No Name steps on has red blood that always stays red. Even when he gets back on the train and steps on the squished spider again, no matter how long he has been in the town, the blood is still red.
  • Saloon Owner: A nameless one, who can play Find the Lady with No Name and serve him beer, but provides little useful information apart from explaining that The Town With No Name is literally dying and that Evil Eb and his gang have killed everyone capable of firing guns.
  • Sensory Abuse: The music in this game is often not pleasant to listen to.
    The Angry Video Game Nerd (about the Saloon's music): Another ear-splitting hit from The Jester.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: When the Man with No Name enters the prostitute's room, the scene cuts to the curtains closing from the outside, the bartender waggling his eyebrows, and clock hands spinning then calendar pages tearing off.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: In the aftermath of the fight with Evil Eb, it turns out that No Name thought he was in Dodge Gulch, only for Evil Eb to tell him that Dodge Gulch is actually in the next town down the line from the one they are in.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The "Meanwhile" screen is a shout-out to Back to the Future.
    • The "Back In Town" screen is said to be a shout-out to multiple things, from Beverly Hills Cop to Win, Lose or Draw to New Kids on the Block to Mystic Pizza.
    • The "Pause For One Moment" screen found in the "Mystery Option" is a shout-out to The Godfather. Coincidentally, the rabbit gun scene found in that option could be a shout-out to The Terminator.
    • Whenever No Name dies, the cutscene showing the camera rushing over to his grave references The Evil Dead by using the deadite POV, accompanied by sounds of the deadites taken from that film.
    • Evil Eb's name sounds a lot like "Evil Ed".
    • The alternate ending's "The End" screen could be a shout-out to Star Wars: one of the game's unused audio files is part of the end credits theme from The Empire Strikes Back, which was likely dropped to avoid copyright infringement.
    • Zippy Zeke's introductory scene is a shout-out to Road Runner.
    • Carved next to one of the wanted posters in the jail is "Uncle Jesse was here."
    • There are many Shout-Outs to films starring Clint Eastwood, including the man with the cigarette being an expy of the man himself. One possible death involves the cigarette man shooting No Name's head clean off (literally).
    • The "Do you have the right time, old man?" scene between the Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef expies is a reference to For a Few Dollars More, which they both starred in.
    • The infamous ending of No Name shooting the kid is a parody of the ending from Shane.
    • One of the posters has "FIRE WALK WITH ME" scribbled on it; Twin Peaks creators David Lynch and Mark Frost are also mentioned in the "Buenos Dias" screen in the "Special Mystery Option".
    • Mr. Diablo's Undertaking Service includes a scheme called "Die Now, Pay Later".
  • Showdown at High Noon: The Ten Paces and Turn version, which the sheriff explains every time.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • Failing in any of the duels has the Man With No Name more concerned about being one page shy of finishing his book than the fact that he's dying.
    • Wildcard McVee gets shot in the heart, and his main concern as he bleeds out is that his waistcoat is ruined.note 
  • Sliding Scale of Animation Elaborateness: The animation quality is rather inconsistent, varying between motion tweens and full animation.
  • Sore Loser: Win against McVee once and he completely loses his marbles and starts accusing the Man With No Name of cheating. He then insists that you duel him to settle things, but shoots you before you get up from the table unless you shoot him first. Should he beat you, he'll rub it in your face like it's going out of style. Multiple times.
    "Nobody beats me, and nobody cheats me. And you've been trying to do both. Let's settle this now, out in the street."
  • Spinning Clock Hands: Seen during the sex scene.
  • The Stoner: Bad Bart is implied to be this, given the way he speaks and the fact that he takes One Last Smoke when you kill him.
  • Surreal Humor: A huge part of the game's appeal is its absurd, borderline demented sense of humor.
  • Stock Footage: Some characters tend to repeat animations. The only animation of the man with the cigarette is rotating his head.
  • Stuka Scream: The vulture that strikes down Evil Eb's littlest brother makes this sound after being (accidentally) shot by the Man with No Name.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: When Evil Eb finally shows up:
    Evil Eb: You shot my entire gang. And to be perfectly honest with you, I'm a bit annoyed about the situation.
  • The "The" Title Confusion: The game can't seem to decide whether it wants to be called "The Town with No Name" or simply "Town with No Name".
  • The Trope without a Title: The Town With No Name is referred to as such on its welcome sign.
  • The Unfought: Immortal Isaac is the only criminal from the "wanted" posters that you are never confirmed to fight, or even see. Incidentally, this also makes him the only criminal aside from Evil Eb himself not to be killed by the protagonist. However, if the knife wielder in the saloon is killed, a question mark appears on Isaac's poster, meaning it's possible that Isaac is the knife wielder.
  • Undertaker: Mr. Diablo, a.k.a. the weird-looking Abraham Lincoln expy. He has his own company named "Mr. Diablo's Undertaking Service" that includes a newly introduced "Die now - Pay later" scheme.
  • The Unintelligible: The priest's mumbling is incomprehensible for the most part. It doesn't help that the music plays over his dialogue for a second.
  • The Voiceless: Unlike the other bandits, neither Zippy Zeke nor Crafty Clint speak.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Wildcard McVee wears one, and even calls it a "waistcoat" even though he's supposed to be American (it is called a "vest" in American English).
  • "Wanted!" Poster: A whole series of them in the jail. The guys you kill get their posters crossed out or, in one case, vandalized with graffiti.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Evil Eb's Littlest Brother, the first villain you take on, who causes the rest of the Hole-In-The-Head Gang to come after you. Even if you miss your shot, you'll still kill him by hitting a buzzard that falls on him.
  • Would Hurt a Child: One of the endings has the "hero" shooting a child because he got his name wrong.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Evil Eb's Littlest Brother. He always fails to shoot you, and you'll win even if you fail to shoot at him.

 
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The Town with No Name (Alternate Ending)

This is apparently a parody of the film Shane's ending. Not that it helps.

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