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|Input||Keyboard or Joystick|
Grim Fandango is an adventure game created by Tim Schafer and released by LucasArts in 1998. The game was the first adventure game by LucasArts to utilize 3D graphics via the GrimE graphics-engine. This game would work as the basis for the fourth Monkey Island game, Escape from Monkey Island, which also used the GrimE-engine.
The game utilizes a very stylized world where the people are represented as paper-skeletons (Mexican calacas and calaveras). The architecture and soundtrack of the game utilizes classic '30s art decor and Aztec influences.
The game is set in an interpretation of the Aztec Underworld where Grim Reapers are travel agents, working for the Department of Death, who sell travel packages to people to help them on their four-year journey through the underworld to reach the Ninth Underworld (The Land of Eternal Rest). The Grim Reapers are all dead people themselves who must work off their time due to some crime or sin they committed while they were alive.
In the game the player takes control of a down-on-his-luck reaper called Manny Calavera who attempts to swipe a profitable client from his rival Domino. The client, a woman by the name of Mercedes Colomar ("Meche"), lived a good life but doesn't still qualify for a travel package. Meche, believing she has cost Manny his job, takes off on her own. This leads Manny to believe that there is something wrong going on and he is recruited in to the Lost Souls' Alliance by a man called Salvador who intends to fight the corruption within the D.O.D.
References in Monkey Island
Several in-jokes to Monkey Island appear tied to this game:
- In The Curse of Monkey Island (which was being developed simultaneously) a skeleton in Manny's likeness can be found at Blondebeard's Chicken Shoppe with a jagged knife stuck on his back. He carries a button saying "Ask me about Grim Fandango". This is also a callback to Cobb, a character from the first game who wears a button that says "Ask me about Loom".
- In Escape from Monkey Island Guybrush wears a large belt-buckle that has his initials on it. The coroner in Grim Fandango points out that this is one of the ways he can identify a body that's been 'sprouted' (a person dies a second time with his bones turning into flowers).
- If one types B-L-A-M during the game Manny will explode and regroup commenting simply with an under-the-breath "Ouch". MI4 contains a similar easter egg, by typing S-K-U-L-L while Murray is on screen.
- In The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, Manny's head is one of the skulls forming LeChuck's lair beneath Monkey Island.
- In Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge, a portrait of Manny is seen downstairs in Governor Phatt's mansion.
Differences from MI4
While the games have a noticeably similar interface there are certain notable differences:
- The keyboard-based interface is almost identical with a few alterations. In both games the keys L and E can be used to look at objects. An interesting trait in GF which does not appear in MI4 is that sometimes pressing E causes Manny to give a totally different description of an object.
- Escape also adds action-lines and the possibility to switch between the items the person is looking at with Page Up and Page Down keys.
- The inventory is also very different, appearing as a circle of items in MI4. Also it is possible to combine inventory items with one another (this is not possible in GF).
- Grim Fandango does not require 3D acceleration due to its simplistic cartoon-look and can simply be played with software-graphics. MI4, however, can't be played without 3D acceleration.