Parody RPG

I had considered a game setting that was a play on the traditional Final Fantasy-style games, which pokes fun at some of the absurd conventions and places the player in a very different role. The player would start in a small town, and the Mayor's cat is stuck on the roof, and the only ladder in town is busted, but the Mayor tells you that if you had a box, you could get up there. Then he tells you that the only box in town is on the other side of the mountains of drudgery, with the old hermit. As he says this, he is putting a box in the closet. Going to the closet simply gets you the message, "no time to worry about this closet, we need that box!"

So you travel all the way across the tediously long mountain path that dumps you back chutes and ladders style at random, and finally make it to the old hermit, who tells you he had the box, but gave it to the Mayor of the town the other day. So you head back across the mountains, where the mayor says that yes, he just got the box from the hermit the other day, but it's in the closet, and his key is at the bottom of the pit of pain on the other side of the mountains of drudgery, and across the plains of crushing your soul.

If you go to the closet and try to get in, your character simply says, "If only I had the key!" So you make your way all the way to the bottom of the pit, where a deranged hobo, covered in his own crap, clutches the key and proclaims it is his, forcing you to grapple with him until you can manage to wrestle the key from his grasp. Upon making it back to the town, inspecting the closet informs you, "On closer inspection, this closet does not have a lock."

As soon as you get the box out, the Mayor comes in with his cat, saying, "Kitty just jumped down on his own, so I didn't need your help after all!"

The entirety of the game would place the player in situations where they are totally ineffective and are faced with futile tasks, even with the most simple of tasks, and nothing they do improves their place in the world, but instead makes things worse for them, regardless of which path they take when a choice is available, although the game would hint that had they taken the other path, things would have been better.

Another location would have the players meet the king of a small nation, who tasks them with scrubbing the trees in his orchard clean and sends them to carry out the task. Upon arriving at the orchard, the player sees the trees randomly moving around the screen, with no explanation as to why the trees would be moving. There are more trees in the orchard than would fit on the screen at one time, so even the best players could not keep track of which trees they had already cleaned, as there would be no graphical difference between them.

Each time the player goes up and interacts with a tree, it would show a five-second animation of them scrubbing the tree, then informs them that the tree is clean. If it was already cleaned, then it informs them, “You scrub the tree, but it was already clean.” Further, the trees get dirty again after a few minutes of having not been cleaned, and need to be cleaned again. Regardless of how well the player may handle the task, even under optimal conditions, it would be impossible to clean all the trees before the first ones were dirty again. After the timer for cleaning the trees runs out, the angry king would then imprison the characters for failing to clean his trees.

All around the player — who is stuck in the role of an incredibly unfortunate loser who just can’t win, despite actually having aptitude — there are events that they can hear about, peripherally experience, and in some cases see famed and accomplished adventurers, heroes, plots, and political intrigue; but they’re stuck cleaning trees and sewers and saddled with incompetent or crazy party members that they can’t shake off any more than their bad luck.

— Jared

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