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Video Game / The You Testament

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"You can't get away from the fact that this is a religious game which lets you mind control Jesus Christ and make him punch people in the face."

The You Testament is a 2008 speculative history video game by indie developer Mat Dickie, better known by his username MDickie. The player takes the role of a disciple of Jesus Christ, who follows his teacher through a loose retelling of the life of Jesus as detailed in the New Testament.

Although The You Testament was meant to be MDickie's last game, he eventually changed his mind and made a Mission-Pack Sequel called Making of a Prophet, where the player follows Muhammad as he founds the religion of Islam. In 2018, in celebration of the original game's 10th anniversary, the game was remade in 2D for mobile devices, under the title The You Testament: The 2D Coming.

Compare with Dickie's other games, Hard Time and Wrestling Mpire, both made with similar technology.

This game provides examples of:

  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Since there's no Judas, the Player Character is the one who betrays Jesus to the Sanhedrin, despite having shown nothing but complete loyalty to Jesus (in cutscenes, at least) during the story.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Every single one of Jesus' followers from the Gospels except for John.
    • In Making of a Prophet, the player character replaces Abu Bakr and Ali. This is especially ballsy given the importance they have in the history of Islam after Muhammad's death and the Sunni - Shia split.
  • Aerith and Bob: Characters in both The You Testament and The Making of a Prophet can go from being named Muhammad to Plato to Buddha to Wendy.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: A quick dive into the source code shows that, when facing a jury, the player always has a 50/50 chance of being imprisoned or set free, regardless of the crime you committed. In fact, the only thing your crime actually changes is the chances of receiving a certain punishment: the more severe the crime, the more likely you are to be crucified, rather than imprisoned or having your eyes gouged out.
  • Anachronism Stew: Dickie's rewrites of Jesus' teachings contain loads of New Agey stuff, and use terms that shouldn't even exist yet ("molecular structure", etc.)
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI for most of the people on the map can only be described as random, with a penchant for acting like complete jerks. Characters will wander to one corner of the map, stand there for a while, walk to the center of the map, sit down for a few seconds, get back up, walk over to another character and start violently beating him for no reason until he falls over, then walk over to you, steal whatever it is you're holding and run for it (and if course, if you try to take it back, the owner will claim it's his and threaten you to give it back).
  • Artistic License History: MDickie just generally played fast and loose with both history and religion in both games, but the real crowner would have to be the crucifixions in the second game. In his Let's Play, Daeren acknowledges that it's just barely plausible that they might have still been carrying out crucifixions, but then he takes a closer look at the crosses: every one of them bears a sign that reads "INRI". INRI is short for a phrase which translates in English to "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews". In other words, this should've appeared on only one cross in the first game (guess).
  • Artistic License Religion:
    • Most of the gameplay mechanics revolve around MDickie's terminal inability to understand how Christianity is different from an incredibly garbled Theme Park Version of Hinduism.
    • In the first few minutes of his Let's Play of the game, General Ironicus discovers a citation claiming the dialog is from Matthew 17:28—a Bible verse that doesn't even existnote . This pretty much sets the tone for the entire game.
    • When all of Israel gets flooded halfway through the game and your character asks Jesus if God sent the flood to punish the people, Jesus responds with "Do you really believe that God would send a flood? God has NEVER punished ANYONE for ANYTHING!". Apparently, The Great Flood and Hell don't exist in MDickie's version of Christianity.
  • Author Tract: Both this game and its sequel delve into Dickie's views on religion, using both religious figures as a mouthpiece.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Strength Miracle, which grants you Super-Strength and the ability to curbstomp your enemies. The downside? Well, the miracle requires your Soul Meter. Punching people reduces that meter. When you kill someone, the meter completely drains, and when the meter drains, your miracle goes bye-bye. Not to mention that it's on the very top of your Miracle Tree, which means you have to be patient in order to select it, which by that point you'd probably be interrupted by someone.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: By a guy who speaks English, even! Almost none of the dialogue actually appears in any English edition of the Bible. The stuff that comes anywhere close is either badly paraphrased, or a Frankensteinian mishmash of several verses.
  • Book Ends:
    • You meet your first disciple at the end of the story in the same spot you met Jesus in at the beginning. It's even funnier if the random character generator makes your disciple a Roman soldier.
    • In The Making of a Prophet, you meet Arjuna, your protégé, in the same spot you met Muhammad in the beginning. Arjuna also seems to look exactly like Muhammad if he were a kid.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: If you hang around with Jesus long enough, He will eventually teach you the skill that lets you see the world as it really is. This translates to playing the game in wireframe mode.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Contrasting with the Weirdness Censor down below, if you try to do half of those things, you're more than likely going to get caught. And nine times out of ten, when you do, you're gonna be crucified!
  • Clueless Aesop: One of the reasons MDickie made The Making of a Prophet was because he felt that most Westerners were only familiar with stereotypical portrayals of Islam and wished to offer an educative, unbiased look at the religion. Unfortunately, the message is severely undermined both by the poor quality of the game and MDickie sometimes simply getting his facts wrong.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In The Making of a Prophet, in order to make the Muslims and Quraysh stand out, MDickie made their robes white and black respectively, save for Muhammad, who wears green.
  • Composite Character:
    • Word of God states that the main character in The Making of a Prophet takes the place of both Abu Bakr and Muhammad's son-in-law Ali in order to drive the story along.
    • In The You Testament, the player is a composite of several random people Jesus helped, as well as Peter and Judas Iscariot. The player also appears to be a stand-in for Lazarus, despite the actual Lazarus appearing and being resurrected as per the gospels.
  • Controllable Helplessness: Getting imprisoned or crucified. If you've learned to meditate, you may be able to use it to escape from a cross. For jail, there's really nothing to do but wait it out. That or cheat your way out.
  • Declarative Finger: A Stock Pose for dialogue.
  • Developer's Foresight
  • Fade to White: Death in the first game does this, as does the fake death following Lazarus, and the end of the game after you have talked to the disciple.
  • Fetch Quest: Mostly subverted in the first game - after the first one, which is just "bring me any item", you learn the Manifestation power. With it you can just make whatever item is asked for later yourself, although doing so consumes a large amount of Spirit. In the second game you get Manifestation much later, and have to actually find items until that.
  • Fission Mailed:
    • In the original game, after Jesus resurrects Lazarus, the player keels over and dies for no reason, complete with the requisite Fade to White, after which Jesus resurrects you. To make things even more confusing, Jesus collapsed and seemed very weak after resurrecting Lazarus, but He seems in perfect health after bringing back the player. At least, unless the script glitches, as it is prone to doing - then you may end up being resurrected and lectured to by a comatose Jesus.
    • In The Making of a Prophet, the same thing happens after Mohammad teaches you the healing ability.
  • Freak Out: Losing all your brain meter causes you to lose control of your character as they're given normal NPC AI until they can recover. Which means they'll probably be running around and beating up people for no good reason.
  • Game Mod: It's fairly easy to mod the texture files. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: Jesus and Muhammad (as well as Satan and Iblis) are invincible and unaffected by any Miracles you perform on them (except for passive ones like the Copying powers).
  • Going Through the Motions: Especially noticeable as there are only a half-dozen different poses, and all of them look rather awkward.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Because the games tend to heavily simplify the moral issues at play, the various historical figures are often in a weird spot of being both more heroic and more villainous than their real counterparts depending on the scene.
    • In the Qu'ran, Muhammed fully endorsed going to war with Mecca, and did so in a guerrilla way by targeting trade routes in an attempt to starve the city of resources. In Making of a Prophet, he is initially against the idea, and needs to be convinced by the leader of Medina that war is a necessity for their survival. It also goes straight to the Battle Of Badr, skipping the guerrilla warfare that led up to it.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Continuing on from the above...
    • The various early antagonists towards Islam in Making of a Prophet are condensed into the Composite Character of 'Amr ibn Hisham, leading to a lot of them being represented a lot worse than they were in reality. For example, the Meccan general Khalid ibn al-Walid was by all accounts from both sides a Father to His Men who even eventually converted to Islam to spare further bloodshed, but in this game his big victory over the Muslim army is given to the completely unsympathetic 'Amr.
    • 'Amr himself in reality was described positively by his own tribesmen, with the more negative descriptions understandably coming from the followers of Muhammed. This nuance is erased in the game, where he is essentially Muhammed's evil rival.
  • Interface Screw: If your character gets blinded, you as the player can still see normally but your movement controls get inverted.
  • Invisibility: The final power Jesus teaches you, here explained as altering his molecular structure to appear invisible. In The Making of a Prophet, this is one of the first things Mohammad teaches you, and here it is explained as Allah drawing a veil around you.
  • Invisible Wall: Averted- you can walk right up to the skybox on which the horizon, mountains and sky are projected, giving the impression you are in a dome a la The Truman Show.
  • Lazy Artist:
    • From a coding standpoint, most of both of these games are recycled from elements found in previous Dickie games, such as his wrestling game or his prison simulator.
    • As a lot of elements were reused from the first game, this was inevitable for Making of a Prophet, in particular with "INRI" on all the crosses. The map screen is a smaller rearrangement of the Holy Land from The You Testament, and the objective marker is still a cross.
  • Made of Plasticine: With the "Gore" option set to Extreme (which is its default setting), it's not rare for the frequent brawls to result in people hobbling around with missing body parts.
  • Magi Babble:
    • The You Testament is overflowing with pop new-wave references to various mystical philosophies and one amazing line is when Jesus heals you. "No problem! I'll just realign your molecular structure!"
    • In The Making of a Prophet, when Mohammad heals you, the line was rewritten from "adjust your molecular structure" to "re-arrange the clay in your body".
  • Medium Awareness:
    • Bizarrely, both Muhammed and Jesus seem to be aware that they're in a video game, because they're able to see their own subtitles, they can turn on wireframe mode to make you "see the world as it really is!" and make allusions to the words of Heaven being the very text the game is coded upon.
    • And for Muhammed, in combination with, that's right, Word of God, he mentions how Allah would read from the records of each and every person on Judgment Day. Those records? The Data-File for the characters.
  • Missing Secret: In The Making of a Prophet, you never learn the "Nourishment" power.
  • Mister Seahorse: The game generates a lover and child for the player character. If the player character is female, the male lover will still claim she got him pregnant.
  • Not His Sled: The player betrays Jesus, rather than Judas Iscariot.
  • Only One Female Mold: There are several male body types, but only one female. In fact, you make a character female by assigning it a female body - you're still free to give "her" a face with a 5 o'clock shadow or Snidely Whiplash mustache.
  • Permadeath: When you die, the game erases your save file.
  • Politically Correct History: Despite MDickie calling the game 'educational', The Making of a Prophet portrays Mohammad as a borderline-pacifist and disregards the fact that he willingly led several military campaigns in real life in order to make him more "virtuous".
  • Pun-Based Title: The You Testament is an adaptation of the New Testament that gives Jesus an additional disciple who is meant to represent you, the player.
  • Religion is Magic: You get a whole bunch of strange abilities for following Jesus or Muhammad, including healing hands, the ability to alter the terrain, and if you're evil, fireballs!
  • Second Hour Superpower: You won't be able to generate prana until your fourth meeting with Jesus, when he initiates you in Galilee.
  • Space Compression: To a rather extreme degree. To give an example, Jerusalem consists of just the temple, which itself has been simplified into a single room.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Abu Jahl in The Making of a Prophet survived the Battle of Badr, and because of this, he is combined with Abu Sufyan. He still gets killed off, just not when he was supposed to die.
  • Sphere Eyes: Contrasting with MDickie's earlier games where the eyes were just part of the characters' face textures, here they're separately animated orbs that have a disturbing habit of bulging outwards and retracting.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: See the Not His Sled entry above. Naturally, the game gives you no choice but to lead the Romans to Jesus so they can arrest him.
  • Title Drop: A particularly clumsy one, too. "And when they arrive at their own understanding of life, let their unique testimony be called 'The You Testament'..."
  • Tutorial Failure: When Jesus tells you that you could literally move mountains, there was no implication that you could now use the "Landscape" power by meditating on the left branch of the 4th chakra.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable:
    • If you make your character as small as possible, it's actually possible to get yourself stuck in a pool within the temple.
    • If you're hung on the cross along with Jesus and you're able to break free, Jesus dies as programmed and you're unable to continue with the story as is.
    • If you get arrested and are too tall, you won't be able to leave the cell because your character can't crouch-walk.
  • Walk on Water: Naturally, Jesus does this, here explained as altering his molecular structure to weigh less. He'll subsequently teach you to do the same. In The Making of the Prophet, you get it at the same time you get levitation.
  • Weirdness Censor: People regularly beat each other up, hop around on one leg, walk without legs, knock others down, hug people and then start beating up the person they hugged, steal items from others...boy.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: MDickie reused the engine he used in his wrestling games. Therefore, it's quite possible for the NPCs to decide to start power-bombing and piledriving each other.