Okédoké! La Leyenda Mexicana
Review by Pepsi Ranger
Recap of Things Missed:
Last month we embarked on an adventure with El Garbanzo, Señor Death, and Señor Rialgo (whom I mistakenly referred to as “Sir” the entire article) across the border of Mexico and into the United States. Along the way we fought sombrero-clad lizards, scorpions with lightning-fast agility, pickpockets, F-15s, and the Mighty Racist Border Rangers. But our journey was far from over. El Garbanzo’s father was missing, the heat was still scorching, and the worst of our opponents was yet to come.
And somewhere between last month’s journey and this one, Dark Blubber added some treasures to the pathways behind us.
“Think there be scorpions in this here chest, amigo?”
But while our journey must continue, we can take heart that those stragglers that have yet to catch us can round up those chests we somehow missed (because they didn’t exist yet), for what’s behind us is the past and what lies ahead is the hot little Texas town of Wrongside.
Chapter Two: “In the Ghetto…”
Trouble didn’t take long to find us in the streets of Wrongside. Rats dashed out of the shadows and ambushed us, baring their rabid teeth. Cockroaches hexed us with pestilence and their superior skills of reproduction. But most heinous of all, the villain “Mofey” was staring at us with his googly eyes and his Rockwell song of paranoia (with backup music by the late Michael Jackson), threatening to become the money we saved by switching to Geico. Dastardly, indeed.
“Crap, can’t seem to get that money I saved. Socialism must be creeping into Texas.”
But some residents tried to help. Some warned us of the dangers lurking in the alleys, of rival gangs trying to kill hapless travelers in the crossfire of wars they raged among each other. But in such a steamy town, we were destined to ignore those warnings to search every nook, cranny, and garbage can we could find to uncover the whereabouts of the elder El Garbanzo.
“Okay, but what if I find a stack of money with googly eyes wandering into those alleys?”
We knocked on some doors to see if anyone could put us up for the night—we had, after all, not slept since our donkey ride and needed some rest. But all we found were no answers and ghetto clubs. So we resolved to search for a hotel.
“Is OG short for the Olive Garden?”
And the hotel was no easy find, I must say. Even with the town map in our sweaty little hands (well, Rialgo’s hands were fat and Señor Death’s hands didn’t sweat), we had difficulty hunting for it in the labyrinthine streets. We passed police officers, met squatters who once saw an old man who looked like El Garbanzo, and stumbled our way into used car dealerships and caves full of dead, but reanimated gang members. And at one point we even found a Rusty Sword buried beneath the dirt. But no hotel. Not until we searched the next street over.
When we found the hotel, relief set in. The proprietor sold us a room key for 100 pesos (in Texas, no less, and he didn’t even ask for a conversion table), and his business partner sold us some tacos. Then after we spoke to a skittish woman (whom we think we scared off at the border, but couldn’t tell) and a nice little Jamaican elf, we rode the elevator to the top floor, entered the room, and El Garbanzo raced for the first bed, while Señor Death took the second and Señor Rialgo took the toilet. And it was a relaxing evening to say the least.
The next day, we decided to explore the hotel’s rooftop. And up there we discovered a man in a suspicious hat selling us some suspicious wares. He wanted some weird objects to trade with, but we had none of the things he asked for, so we went back downstairs to gather some more clues about El Garbanzo’s missing father.
“Not sure he’s giving us much to go on.”
And our journey through the streets and alleyways brought us face-to-face with the leaders of four rival gangs.
“This battle theme needs more cowbell.”
Two gangs were independent contractors, but the other two were involved in a bloody Geico war. The Cavemen and the Geckos had been ruling the underworld of Wrongside for ages, it seemed (probably for seventy years if I were to make a guess), but not by each other’s side. No, they were bitter enemies. The geckos thought that running gangland was so easy that a caveman could do it. The cavemen were pissed that the geckos had celebrity status (and the sunglasses to prove it) and could speak in British accents. And neither were privy to the doublecrossing Mofey who pretended to fight on both sides of the tracks.
“So are sex offenders.”
So anyway, long story short, we raided their bases and single-handedly ended their war.
But not before we ventured into the Pirate’s turf and confronted their scoundrel of a leader, Cap’n Crunch.
“Yargh, me like the peanut butter crunch, Cap’n.”
Oh yes, that Cap’n was a dastardly fellow with his bloody eyeballs and boomerang spoon of death, but it was nothing a nicely timed stick of dynamite couldn’t handle. While his subordinate went below to scrub the poop deck, we handed the leader his crunchy-even-in-milk butt to him on a stick (or sword, rather) and liberated imprisoned cereal brands back to the kids. We felt accomplished.
Once the Cap’n fell, we raided the Cavemen’s turf, the Geckos’ turf, and thought all was done until we wandered into the alleyways of the city’s most fearsome gang: The Ninjas.
“You’ve got interesting friends, Mr. Ninja.”
The Ninjas, in a word, were pansies. They put up a good front with those stretchy little costumes, but they hit like sissies. And either we were just overconfident going into battle, or they really were all bark and no bite. And their leader, the Mysterious “Mr. Green,” seemed more interested in his pizza than he did in our heads, and really didn’t put up much of a fight. With the exception of Señor Rialgo, we really felt bad kicking him out of town. But in the end we thought he belonged in the sewers, so we silently hoped that he ended up there somewhere.
“We did it legally, you bureaucrat!”
When it seemed that the worst of Wrongside was a thing of memories and we had enough money to buy transportation out of town, we beat up some gang members and stole their car. We thought the money we saved would’ve served us better elsewhere.
“You shouldn’t tempt a guy who just beat up a bunch of gang members. Modern day psychology might complain that we have an Iron Man complex now.”
Someone once told us that a new car would take us far, but a clunker would only get us a $4000 credit toward something better. In truth, the clunker got us nothing but broken down in the middle of Alabama in a racist little town called Frogbucket.
Now, Frogbucket was a small town full of rednecks and Cerveza (we thought for sure they’d be more interested in Whiskey in those parts, but who were we to judge?), but it didn’t stop us from looking for the one man who could fix our car, the one man the KKK despised, the only black Jewish homosexual in town. And we found him in the fringes of town where he hid daily from his redneck stalkers.
He agreed to fix our car on the condition that we beat up the Ku Klux Klan and give him a night of peace. We complied by entering the KKK’s sacred meeting grounds and stomping the Grand Wizard into a chasm. It was fun.
“What do the KKK and Al Qaeda have in common?”
When we came back to the shop, we proved our worth, and he proved his by fixing our car. Then we returned to the highway and continued on toward the northeast.
Missing Journal Entry:
This is a late entry, and unmarked from typical chronology, but I just wanted to say we did encounter a strange character in our journeys. I probably shouldn’t say where we found him, or why we fought him, but he did drop something called a “Keyblade” when we took him out.
He really was surprised to see us.
So, as we drove down the grassy highways through America’s heartland and day became night, we had more car problems, and stalled again in front of some strange house. We didn’t think much of it, so we decided to check on it for some help.
Chapter 3: “The Middle of Nowhere”
The house stood on a haunted hill below a crescent moon. Cliffs flanked the rising field and a graveyard died to the west. And upon the ledges, random treasure boxes hid within the clusters of trees, begging us to abandon them with all hope. And we journeyed up the shadowed hill, searched the ledges for life (and found Señor Death’s “Vampire Blade”), and questioned the epitaphs on the forgotten tombstones of things lost to history.
But in the end we were just procrastinating. We knew that to find our answers, we had to enter the house. And we were fine with that, because we were badass.
“Aw, it don’t look so big.”
“That’s what she said!”
Inside the house, wandering spirits told us of things we already knew, things like “this is a haunted house,” and “we’re dead.” But one ghost informed us of something different, something relevant: there was a resident who wasn’t dead, and that if we kept searching, we might find her.
Well, we searched the ground floor and found nothing but energy barriers blocking doorways into rooms we would’ve liked to visit, like the bedroom and its savory beds for sleeping in and replenishing strength. No, we were stuck munching on our tacos as we wandered up the stairway onto the second floor, into the main hall where we found our adversary….
“Selling Avon, maybe?”
She caught us off guard, certainly, with her thick glasses and large assets, but we were strong. We resisted her charm for about a second. And then she yanked the floor out from underneath us.
Señor Rialgo was the first to seek revenge. He dropped down into the foyer, so his return journey was short. Instead of wasting time on the mummies and Frankenstein’s monsters that attacked him, he dashed up the stairs, prepared to give Schnee a piece of his gas, and was instantly zapped by her magic handcuffs…and magic footcuffs, which we didn’t think existed.
Señor Death fell past the dining room behind the energy barriers and had to climb all the way up through the back way to reach her. And when he arrived, he showed her a thing or two about magic. They became locked in a battle for supremacy, but neither made progress against the other.
And finally, El Garbanzo awoke in the dank dungeons where spikes and skulls made up the décor, and he journeyed up two flights of stairs and crossed a back hall to reach her. And when he arrived, he found Señor Death and Schnee McBoobs tangling with magic wands and he quickly sneaked away to tend to Señor Rialgo.
When he freed Señor Rialgo, they concocted a plan to give Señor Death the advantage. But of course, Señor Rialgo jumped the gun, and it was just as well—he unlocked a new ability in the process—Señor Death got the upper hand.
But Schnee had a plan. She summoned the king of the Emo Kids, the Emo Grande, to sap our happiness. And like a coward, she ran up the stairs and onto the floors where the wood was rotten and cracks could be broken.
“Bet that giant creature standing behind you don’t speak good Spanish, either.”
After we snipped the strings of the Emo Grande’s world’s smallest fiddle, we raced up the stairs and eventually found her locked away in a room. And you know what?
She didn’t fight us. And she didn’t even try to run.
Nope, she joined us. Told us it was all a test. Told us that she had been watching us since Wrongside and summoned us here to help her reach her brother.
“You did that for us? Aw, thanks.”
We shrugged, found a Heck Klown in a box in another room, and then left the house. Though, we were sure to take a nap before we left. We were pretty tired by then. We were also happy that Schnee fought with her wand now, not with her jiggling breasteses.
“All right, who summoned the jack-in-the-box from hell?”
When we stepped outside, we found her hippie van outside the door, which she kept hidden in an invisibility cloak, and headed down the highway toward New Hamster, Pennsylvania.
Chapter 4: “New Hamster”
When we arrived to New Hamster, Schnee’s brother told us that we couldn’t just drive up to the prison without getting the windshield and tires shot out. So he wanted us to find some Titanium, Machine Guns, a Rocket Launcher, a Satellite Dish, and some Mountain Dew to jazz up the vehicle. He also needed Heavy Duty Wheels to protect them from puncture. So we took his advice and entered the city search for these mythical parts.
A Word from Our Sponsor:
Unfortunately, due to the confidentiality of sensitive materials previously recorded, we’re afraid that the U.S. Government prohibits the publishing of contents related to the events transpiring in New Hamster, Pennsylvania, and we must therefore pull our original report from this article. However, the government is too busy trying to control our access to healthcare to check whether or not we complied, so we’ll attempt to include snippets from that original 320-page report.
Excerpts from the Restricted Journal:
We entered the borders of New Hamster, Pennsylvania and found a man sleeping in his bed. Stole a Coca-Cola from his fridge; it seemed that New Hamster provided some variety in its soft drinks. Later on, we discovered that certain fast food restaurants provided us with Mountain Dew, which not only helped us in battle, but also helped lubricate our van for the journey into the prison.
“You keep your bulletproof vests in the refrigerator? Don’t you think the freezer would be better?”
We found that, unlike Wrongside, the city of New Hamster had open access to the sewer system. And we found a lot of our missing junk down there. But not every section connected to the other, so we had to find multiple entrances, including a couple that weren’t in such obvious places. And the creatures that dwelled down there were hideous.
In Wrongside, we had to search and search and search for the hotel, and we suffered much in the process, so we were happy to discover that the Hamster Inn was pretty close to the city entrance this time. On the same note, we were disappointed that the layout wasn’t as cool (though this one hid a treasure).
“You should yell at your toilet bowl to ‘keep it down.’”
Gang presence can be found in any big city, and New Hamster was no different. Lurking under the shadows of the hotel were members of a gang called “The Amish.” And because they were the last ones standing after a massive gang war and police bust drove the others out of town, they were self-declared kings of the hill and considered themselves untouchable. So we beat up their Grand Poobah and raided their butter churn toilets for prizes.
As we traveled the streets, we were surprised at how many drug addicts lived among the residents. Even the Emo Kids were potheads.
“Why? You afraid they’ll steal it from you?”
The more we explored New Hamster, the more we realized that it wasn’t just a town with tall buildings and seedy establishments, but a place containing surrounding sectors like a junkyard and training center. And in those surrounding places we found another host of helpful things.
“And I am the Gatekeeper.”
And even with Burger King closed for renovations until 2010, we still couldn’t believe how much there was to do and to explore here in New Hamster, Pennsylvania. We could buy tacos from Taco Bell. Talk to animals at the pound (and rescue one). Buy rare items from a cloaked man with shades at a gentleman’s club. And we could even battle with Nazi incarnations of a famous underwater sponge in places that we choose to keep secret from the wrong people.
And we did all this unbeknownst to the fact that someone was stalking us, someone with glasses and red lipstick, someone who didn’t want us to find the last piece of Titanium or to make it to the prison up north. Someone who was willing to turn the very statue of Bob the Hamster against us just to keep us from achieving our—
“Statue shown in actual size.”
Actually, we probably shouldn’t reveal anymore. Now that the healthcare bill has been shot to heck, the government may be watching.
“Oh great. That just means more Canadians will scurry past the border, you lazy twit.”
Okay, so now that I’ve finished the game up through Chapter 4, I thought I’d give my quick impressions.
First off, Dark Blubber wasn’t kidding when he said that New Hamster would dwarf Wrongside. It is very large. And when I say large, I mean, I’m notorious for making gigantic maps in my games and even I thought it was vast. Goodness. Vast may not even be the appropriate word. A layer cake of black holes might be more accurate. Imagine the entirety of Village People: The Video Game dropped into a single chapter of Okédoké, and you have a partial idea of the scope that is New Hamster. To give you a better indicator, I entered the borders at about the seventh hour of gameplay. I returned to Schnee’s brother with all the crap he asked for after the twelfth hour. Yes, it’s that big and has that much you can do. In all my notoriety, I don’t think I’ve ever matched that. New Hamster may very well set the record for largest city in the OHR (not so much in size, but definitely in scope). And if it doesn’t, it certainly makes the Top 5. The flood of random battles increases the length, I’ll admit. But with the intricate web of hunting and gathering involved, this place goes on and on, and when you finally do get the chance to leave, you’ll know it so well that it’ll show up in your dreams.
And I can only hope that Chapters 5 and 6 will have quests that make them just as massive.
Also, after playing through the entire game so far, I must say that I’m pleased with the way that Dark Blubber re-balanced the battles. Misses happen much less often than they used to and the pace of a random battle seems to move a little faster. I still think they happen too often, and I find that I run from half of them if not most, and still have enough experience left over to take town a boss. And I also think level ups occur a little too slowly (I ended Chapter 4 at an average level of 18), but neither really ruined the experience. If he didn’t change a thing, I’d still be happy with the existing product.
One interesting thing about items: some tradable items aren’t always worth trading away. It’s a bit of a mind game. Do I sacrifice power now for convenience later? Do I give away this sleek neck accessory to gain some funky hat? Or will I screw myself over if I do this or that? You really can’t know until after you’ve made the choice.
I’ve also noticed that this game features a butterfly effect. Even into Chapter 4, there are consequences to certain decisions I made way back in Chapter 1. And it looks like these things will continue to follow me into the remaining chapters. It really makes the choices you make worth considering.
“And where will that leave the world?”
And that concludes this month’s installment of the Okédoké review. Next month, if Dark Blubber manages to finish the game by then, we’ll review Chapters 5 and 6. If not, we’ll preview Chapter 5 only. And if that doesn’t work, then we’ll just sit by a campfire and wait patiently for him to finish.