Okédoké! La Leyenda Mexicana
Review by Pepsi Ranger
Recap of Things Missed:
After springing the elder Garbanzo (Señor Garbanzo) from his jail cell, and engaging in a long and bloody battle with inmates and guards on the way back to the prison’s entrance, we were just about to escape Pukadonna Federal Penitentiary when something unexpected happened. Dark Blubber, now known as FnrrfYgmSchnish, took a long break from our epic drama to tell other stories of grand adventure involving Puckamons, K’hyurbhis, and other weird things, leaving us the big question: Now what?
Well, it took nearly five years, but he finally managed to answer that question, and in spades, with the inclusion of our most complicated journey yet. But before we can discuss what lay before us, we have to once again look to the journey behind, for certain adventures have been locked in silence, and now those tales must be told.
Our journey through the prison wasn’t as straightforward as we originally thought. Somehow we had missed a tunnel that an inmate had spent years digging in his cell with a spoon, and we went back to see where it had led him. What we found (once we figured out how to enter his cell), was astounding: a tunnel leading to a hidden village where escaped convicts could live a peaceful, if not almost as sheltered, life.
“And to think we got here by reading a toilet.”
Could they have dug the tunnels deeper and perhaps found even more freedom beyond their current false sense of freedom, which anyone looking at the valley with surrounding mountains could have identified as having not been much better than what they had escaped from? Sure. If a spoon could carve out an elaborate system of caves into the small isolated landscape where they had built their village, then it could have gone even further to take them to a place of even wider fields in which to stretch their legs and build their thriving mini-Australia. But they didn’t take it that far. They seemed content with their life away from prison guards. If only they had a way to defeat the infamous Bubba Hornet, who had a habit of raping them in their sleep, they’d be truly set. Perhaps, though, that story would remain untold.
When we ventured back, after having learned nothing important, or having done anything worthwhile, like defeating the infamous Bubba Hornet, we found a small break in a cave wall, ascended another ladder that brought us up through a toilet, and found ourselves in a cell on the serial killer floor of Pukadonna, where a pizza was stashed in a cabinet.
That pizza would come in handy one day.
“Fishy, or the display of mad skillz?”
“I smell pizza and gym socks up this ladder here.”
Classified Journal Alert:
Long before we even made the trip to Pukadonna, we were traveling around New Hamster, Pennsylvania, searching for items we could use to retrofit our Hippie Van for maximum resistance and offensive damage. On our travels, we encountered a ball pit at the local Burger King that held an unusual secret: a portal to another land called the Burger Kingdom.
We had mentioned it briefly in another journal from another time, but thanks to the events that happened in Alaska, which we will discuss soon, our need for confidentiality has passed, and we can now mention what transpired on our journey through this mysterious land of meat, cheese, sauce, and bread.
The first thing we noticed as soon as we fell through the tiny colored plastic balls and descended onto the Orb of Teleportation (trademark pending) north of Burger Kingdom Village was that creatures of the Burger Kingdom were a fierce lot, far more destructive than those that lurked the fringes of New Hamster. We were hardly prepared for the chickens and wizard cups that stalked the tall grasses of the Burger Kingdom. Each stroke of the sword was met with the slash of a straw or talon, leaving us with lacerations, plastic burns, and severe paper cuts. It was far more terrible than any fight we had previously engaged in with geckos, pirates, or lost mummies in a haunted house.
But we pressed on to the south, discovering a town that looked like it was built during a Renaissance festival, complete with thatched-roof houses, overnight inns, and a large looming castle in the center of the square. If we weren’t already so used to backward technology, we might’ve been surprised. But we weren’t. We were more surprised by the giant hamburgers that often attacked us.
“Burgers so thick you need a fork and sword to eat them.”
Thanks to the vicious battles we endured from the Burger Kingdom’s overpowered enemies, we needed sleep, desperately. We found the inn just south of the field and paid for a room. Unlike the hotels in Wrongside and New Hamster, where we bought room keys for unlimited access, we had to pay the inn per night, and that was gonna rack up the room tab rather quickly. Fortunately, we found an empty house southeast of the inn that had a vacant bed that cost us nothing to sleep in.
“Ah, the joys of not spending money to sleep. What’s next? Free bathrooms?”
As we continued to explore town, we found a taco stashed in someone’s dresser (a strange find for the Burger Kingdom), some magic sauce on the side of a cliff, and a gold bar behind the castle. The Burger Kingdom was not without its secrets.
“Hope it didn’t spoil.”
But the strangest secret of all, a secret that to this day remains misunderstood, is why there were so many people walking around in chicken suits.
“Should we tell ‘em to cluck off?”
We tried not to let it bother us. We were just lost travelers exploring an unfamiliar land. The Burger Kingdom and its concerns were not really part of our mission. But we were curious. And we were heroes on the rise. Certainly, there was something here for us to do, as no land was without its troubles.
Well, we didn’t actually go looking for trouble, as the Burger Kingdom was relatively peaceful if no one disturbed the creatures of the tall grasses, the Cheese Mines, or the Creepy Pine Forest. But trouble sure found us.
They called themselves “The Swarm.” Although they didn’t specify exactly where they came from or why they were there (they gave us a terrible reason, but the Swarm’s leader later confessed that she wasn’t willing to share the whole story), they were frightening nonetheless. They were heartless, powerful, and savvy manipulators of anything they could get their hands on, including the four elements of cheese, meat, sauce, and bread (which in truth they did not wield at all). But even scarier was the fact they were a group of five teenage girls. Even a squadron of three Mexican fighters and an American witch-lady would buckle at the knees. Yes, the Swarm was an awful foe.
“The mall? Daddy’s credit card? Statues of the four goddesses of meat, cheese, honey, celery, bottled water, Tic-Tacs, shoes, etc.? Their whipped boyfriends? Media? Are we even close?”
But one by one, by order of the Burger King (the actual king, not the restaurant), we took them down, beginning with “Sailor Moofem” in the Cheese Mines (we doubt that’s her real name—we’re pretty sure it’s Meghan)—
Then with Lauren in the fields east of Burger King (the restaurant, not the actual king)—
Then with the two Sarahs guarding the path up Swarm Tower, Smoop and Nancos.
Once we took the cellphone-dependent Nancos out of the equation, we journeyed to the top of the tower where we found the Swarm’s leader, Bridget, preparing her ascendancy to become the Burger Kingdom’s next overlord.
That’s, of course, when we decided to stop her. We were heroes, after all.
“Oh, Señor Rialgo, you disgusting crack-up, you.”
When we returned to the castle after Bridget’s defeat, the Burger King thanked us for our services. We felt a little bad for beating up five teenage girls, even if they were kinda snotty, and we were disappointed that Bridget wouldn’t tell us exactly why she was there (something we’d probably have to travel back in time and visit a place called Alleghany Hell School to find out—maybe one day we’ll hear the rest of that story), but we were satisfied that we did a good service for the Burger Kingdom community. The Burger King, who we were assured could defeat the Swarm on his own if he wanted to, thanked us by giving me a Cheesenormous, the most powerful sword on our journey, and a 66% discount at the Burger Kingdom Gift Shop. It was there that Señor Rialgo could finally buy some decent armor that actually fit him.
So, that was our adventure through the Burger Kingdom. When we were done, we returned to business in New Hamster, hunting down parts for our Hippie Van, dispatching the Amish, and encountering a rabbity creature we had forgotten about for our last journal called Mr. Pointless. He really fit his namesake.
Chapter 6: “Northern Exposure” or “Somewhere in Alaska”
So, with Señor Garbanzo busted out of prison and the Hippie Van fueled for adventure, we set off toward Canada, where the road would take us right into Alaska.
But halfway through the longest drive of our lives, we started running out of fuel (the van was powered by Mountain Dew), and had to make a stop in the Canadian town of Beaverfoot to replenish our supply.
Problem: Beaverfoot was having a Mountain Dew shortage. How convenient for us.
As we explored a bit, talking to priests and goat girls, who, we later found out after Schnee decided to stick by the van, could speak only in Goat, we entered the mayor’s mansion to discover the truth behind the Mountain Dew shortage. Well, sort of. He didn’t know why they were low on Mountain Dew, but he did confess that he had a horde of it down in his basement. He even agreed to award us five bottles of the stuff, the amount we needed for the remaining drive to Alaska, if we could score 1000 points on his trivia game. So, we played.
“Children starving in Africa, war raging in the Middle East, Beaverfoot short on Mountain Dew—the world needs to get its act together, pronto.”
“I hear Goat is a Germanic language, like English.”
“The goat girl fights a lot like Schnee, with boobs and everything.”
“To get to the other side…? Meah-by.”
“How many points do we get for that if we guess correctly?”
The questions were challenging. They covered topics ranging from “Canadian Stuff,” which we knew nothing about on account of us being Mexican (and Virginian), “Frankfurter’s Quest for Soap,” a television show that we occasionally saw broadcast on TVs in Wrongside and New Hamster, and “Other Stuff,” which covered other stuff.
Eventually, we scored well enough to earn our Mountain Dews. We even tried the mayor’s second round of questions, which were even harder than the first—did you know that Alaska was never part of Canada? Not even in 1959? We didn’t. We’re Mexicans (and Virginian). The fact that we got the answer right was a lucky guess.
We kept playing and kept testing the limits of the mayor’s private stash, but he never seemed to run out, which convinced us that there was no shortage at all. We began to think that Beaverfoot’s real problem was that the town’s plot device was flimsy and needed some tweaking. Thanks to us airing our grievances with town developers, we’re pretty sure that someday the shortage will be limited, as the problem has implied. But for now, we couldn’t stick around to see if things would change. We had to move on.
Once we decided that we were done exploring Beaverfoot, which was a decision compounded by the fact that giant beavers lived in the hills north of the church, we jumped back in our Hippie Van and continued on to Alaska, and our destiny.
“This is why soccer isn’t popular in America.”
“For anyone else, this might’ve been a surprise.”
“So, er, maybe it’s time to leave Canada?”
The end of the road led us to a forested wilderness at the foot of a shallow hill, and on the hill, the vilest of all of America’s production facilities stood waiting for us. It was here in this government-usurped facility, owned by the duped Fartbean Corportation, that hundreds of Mexicans were taken after their untimely kidnappings and forced into slavery. It was here that Señor Garbanzo was destined to work had he not proven to the government how powerful of an opponent he could be to them. Irony was a cruel mistress bringing him to the government’s front door after all these years, especially given what he was capable of once behind the wheel of a Hippie Van.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
“If you’re making a run for the border, you haven’t run quite far enough, hombre.”
At the base of the facility, we encountered two guards who did not offer us much of a fight. In fact, they were such wusses that we wondered if stationing them there was actually an invitation for us to enter, and thus, a trap in the making. We entered anyway, because that’s why we’d left Mexico and taken such a long and violent journey north in the first place. To turn back now would’ve been loco.
“Aw, you’re not supposed to entice us in.”
What we found did not seem so bad at first. But it got bad almost immediately, as soon as we made our first left down the hall, and through the floor…
We landed two floors down, in another hallway, most likely the basement level, or deeper—we really couldn’t tell where we were. Conveyor belts, teleporters, shallow ledges, and mechanical creatures stood in our way. The conveyor belts and teleporters helped us get around, but the ledges and mechanical beasts deterred us at times. And let us not forget the occasional trapdoors in the floor. And, little is more dastardly than the floods of spilled toxic materials we found accumulating on the floors all over the place. It seemed that wherever we walked, we were on course to discover something to impede us.
“Clean up on aisle…er, where are we again?”
“We need to hire a maid in here…”
“…or call in the robot janitorial staff.”
Sometimes we found a conveyor belt that would take us through a wall and into another room. Sometimes the trap door in the floor would give us a chance to regroup and try a new path. Even the teleporters, while some led us around in circles, would eventually get us to a place we had not yet seen before.
“Hope this doesn’t drop us into a lake outside.”
And there were plenty of places like that in a place so huge and complicated.
We spent a long time wandering those halls, backtracking, moving forward, backtracking, moving forward…
Sometimes we encountered enemies we did not want to fight, so we’d run.
Other times we encountered enemies we did not want to fight, yet we couldn’t run thanks to the space we wandered into being so narrow.
We learned quickly not to take our environment for granted. Small rooms meant enemies would pin us down. Water fountains, which restored our SP in small doses per drink, often hid trapdoors in the floors beside them. And teleporters were helpful, as long as we kept going left.
Even the single switch we found near a hall littered with junk changed our destiny depending on which direction it was pointing. One way opened the doors on the left side of the facility; the other opened the ones on the right. We also learned the hard way that one side was clearly more important to us than the other, which we had discovered after we’d gone and switched it back.
The factory was a confusing place, and even the scientists who worked there were lost. Was it a testament to American design, or a government-sanctioned funhouse for the criminally insane? We could not decide on that, either.
“So, er, this is a conundrum.”
Perhaps it was designed to keep us off our guard. It almost worked when a man dressed as a famous Sith lord met us in one of the facility’s many lobbies.
But, as our journey became ever-so-maddening, and Señor Rialgo’s bowels became ever closer to bursting—there were bathrooms everywhere, but none accessible to unauthorized personnel—we finally stumbled into a section of the factory where the signs of change were evident. One of the men’s restrooms was occupied, and at that moment when Señor Rialgo’s pants were about to burst, the door opened, and out walked…
“Oh, crap! No pun intended.”
The rest of our journey was a mishmash of climactic events, ranging from one epic battle to another.
We discovered the secret the government was protecting. And it was dastardly indeed.
So much that we cannot bear to discuss it.
All we can say now is that we kept slogging through the mess, the evil, the robots, and met destiny in the face, looking at it in the eye one last time.
The battle it gave us was messy. But we prevailed.
It was a miracle that Alaska survived.
“They left this part off the travel brochure. Darn you, travel agency!”
Okay, we’re being overly dramatic, but there was definitely fallout of epic proportions. Fortunately, we also survived, and we left Alaska victorious, and a little richer.
What followed after that was for the ages.
Initially I was impressed with FnrrfYgmSchnish’s speedy development of this well-planned game, but soon came to realize that, like they do for all authors, distraction, burnout, and outside priorities posed a risk to his momentum, and the time it took for him to release Chapter 6 (which, as of this writing, has not yet been made official) was an utter slap to the face of those five chapters that came before it.
But, as we also know, time away can make for a better game in time, and nearly five years of planning, thinking about, and developing a single chapter can pay off in a big way. I think that’s exactly what happened for Chapter 6, and, in a sense, for Okédoké! La Leyenda Mexicana as a whole. Maybe it goes without saying, but the final chapter of this crazy game is perhaps the richest and most complicated of them all, yet FnrrfYgmSchnish (Dark Blubber) pulls it off almost effortlessly.
Sure, there are problems, as there always will be. For as polished as the gameplay and navigation has become, there are still little details that are overlooked: a single toilet or sink lacking flavor text when a thousand others have something to say, characters who bend the laws of their own personalities (some scientists seem a bit stupid, for example), kitchens that have dressers instead of cabinets and other furniture oddities, and entire hidden sections, which greatly add to the joy of exploring in the game, end up having nothing of importance for our heroes or adding nothing important to the story, are just a few examples. But, these occasional slips from reality or breaks from consistency fail to ruin what is an otherwise groundbreaking experience.
Take the final chapter for example. The game has pretty much patterned the player to expect a certain type of design depending on whether the chapter is an odd- or even-numbered segment. Odd-numbered chapters are more straightforward and story-driven with a clear path and a clear goal. Even-numbered chapters are more open, definitely more sprawling, and tend to take at least twice as long to complete as the chapter before it. Chapter 6 does not disappoint in this expectation. Even though the opening town, Beaverfoot, is no more complicated than El Pueblecito or Frogbucket, Alabama, it is merely the header for a much deeper, much more complex place that makes even New Hamster seem like a quick stride around the corner and back again. With its complicated infrastructure of conveyor belts, teleporters, tight, winding hallways, trapdoors, ledges, toxic waste spills, rooms full of unescapable enemies, closed doors, multiple floors, and the occasional NPC zone or barracks, keeping track of it all is a navigational nightmare that doesn’t even begin to make sense until you’ve figured out how things in the facility are supposed to work. It’s only then that finding your way around gets easier. And even this is not so easy, especially when the paths you know you’re not supposed to take are just as enticing as the ones you ultimately have to take, and taking them, while allowing you to find a throwaway piece of treasure (if you’re lucky), ends up throwing you back to the facility’s main entrance where you have to wander those bright and lonely halls yet again.
In a word, Chapter 6 is sheer madness, but in a good way. I think it ties up what we expect out of Okédoké’s gameplay pretty well.
So, that leaves us with one last concern: How does the climax and conclusion fare? We waited so long to even have an ending that we hope it’s at least serviceable to the 12-25 hours we might put into playing it.
Okay, well, let me tell you, the effort put into making the climax worth the journey has not gone the least bit lazy. With two mandatory battles and one optional one taking the final minutes of the game, I can say that, while the battles were not exceptionally difficult, they were epic in scope, and fighting them did have that feeling of closure and conflict on a grand scale. In other words, I have no doubt that our heroes have no greater adversaries than the ones they fight in those last few sections of the game. It seems that FnrrfYgmSchnish took great care into designing and implementing the last three battles of the game to play out with much energy and fanfare. Even the quick events setting up the battles are more elaborate at the end than they are anywhere else in the game.
But even the climax can’t compare to the final stop that FnrrfYgmSchnish pulled when he actually designed the game’s ending. After treating us to a series of action-packed cut scenes that play out the Alaskan facility’s fate, he gives us cell-shaded images with the ending credits that show events from all six chapters, each one depending on decisions the player has made throughout the game. For example, when the credits begin, your first image will depend on whether you sneak past the ghosts in the Chapter 1 ghost town. Whether you get images from the Burger Kingdom will depend on if you visited the hidden land or not. It’s quite clever.
But he doesn’t stop there, either. We also get a series of epilogues based on the four main characters and several of the minor characters they meet along the way. Ever wondered how the gang wars in Wrongside ended? There’s an epilogue for that.
And this isn’t to speak yet of the game’s graphics. Even though he sticks with the 16-color palette from start to finish, it’s hard to tell when he’s drawing in 8-bit fashion or something more elaborate, because every so often the graphics, which are normally quite good, go above and beyond the norm. Most notable would have to be the final rooms where pretty much every color seems to have representation, and the final boss, Uncle Sam, which really is an 8-bit sight to behold, maximizes the color and richness of Okédoké’s palette. I’ve tried my hand at 8-bit graphics, and, honestly, I have no idea how FnrrfYgmSchnish got so good at this. He tells me that there may be a 16-bit version of the game someday. I have to wonder: how would that manage to blow my mind? I hope he comes through with that vision.
If anything, the only criticism I would have, both for Chapter 6 and for the game in its entirety, is that the story occasionally gets a little too ridiculous, even when its core humor comes from farts, boobs, and other adolescent male laughing cues. The problem with making a joke game into a joke epic adventure, especially when the joke is kind of one-note, is that you eventually saturate the elements that make it funny in the first place. In Chapter 1, I thought using items from a Taco Bell kiosk in Mexico for healing was pretty funny—do they even have Taco Bell in Mexico? I’m sure the idea of having a Taco Bell in the birthplace of tacos is absurd in of itself. By Chapter 4, however, I’m ready for something different. Sure, the stuff with the Burger Kingdom was a nice change of pace. By then we’re getting our HP from Whoppers, not tacos. But we still have Cerveza healing our SP (magic), which is not funny, just practical, and joints waking us up, and worse, we’re actually fighting “bad weed” enemies. I got more laughter out of Mr. Pointless’s reactions to various elements than I did out of fighting marijuana plants with an attack called “Cannablade.”
But the crazy thing is that just when I think the game’s sense of humor is too limited—I think FnrrfYgmSchnish deliberately sticks to certain kinds of jokes to adhere to this very specific over-the-top theme—he throws in some unexpected sidewinders, like a commentary on cellphones or the blatant miscommunication people have when they speak to others of a different language (in this case, he takes this commentary to absurd heights when our Mexican heroes try talking to a girl who speaks only in Goat). And if that weren’t enough, he even tosses in the dramatic side of storytelling when Señor Death reveals his physical weakness to his teammates at the beginning of the climactic end, a result of him traveling too far north, and we wonder if he’s even gonna make it through the final battle. So, yeah, this game is known for its crude and offensive humor, and some people who think it revels in the muck more than it satires the extreme nature of the human condition may choose to avoid playing it for that very reason. But there is a human story here amid the muck and the fart jokes, and I’m actually surprised at what it accomplishes. Anyone looking for a biting social commentary might actually find one here—if they aren’t busy superficially panning the game for its surface ills or its insensitive treatment of obviously exaggerated stereotypes.
So, do I recommend the full version of Okédoké! La Leyenda Mexicana? Absolutely not! Only the KKK could possibly like this game.
Just kidding. Anyone who wants a solid game that’s finished, looks great, has lots to explore, has a number of puzzles to solve, and has its share of laughs (personally, I hate raunchy jokes and can do without racist or drug humor, but there is so much else here that I find hilarious—I’m a big fan of ironic humor—that I still think the game is funny overall), should give this one a try. And, even if you’ve played an older version of the game already, the final version is worth starting a new game for, as FnrrfYgmSchnish has gone back to each chapter and made each one better than what we last remembered of them.
I had fun playing this, probably more than I’ve had with any other traditional OHR game in a long time. It’s a fine way to waste a day. If you’re looking for a complete adventure that looks good, plays well, and sometimes redeems itself in spite of how badly the humor might turn off certain players, then give the final version a try. I definitely think it should be replayed from the beginning, and, if you play it, remember that exploration is your friend. There is so much to do, so much to find, and certain story beats will change depending on how you tackle side quests (if you even tackle them). A lot of heart went into this game’s design, and I don’t think it should be missed, especially if you think your own game is lacking interesting design and you want tips for making it stronger. This game does that and more. It’s just well done.
Good job, Fnrrf.