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Grim Fandango: Gangster as Funk


Welcome friends! I figured I have gone long enough without writing a little blog.


For this installment I’ll be getting a little bit funky and fresh with a little number called Grim Fandango released way back in 1998.




Grim Fandango was a blockbuster hit musical rhythm game that actually featured a rich story populated by a colorful cast of characters. The story revolved around a family of skeleton gangsters that, in this reality, were at war with a rival gang. Basically it was Romeo and Juliet without any lovers and alot more funk.


The game is divided into 5 chapters, each chapter has 3 acts.


Act one is usually a solo song or monologue by one of the character. The player’s goal is to hit each button in time with the music. Relatively simple by today’s standards, but revolutionary at the time.


Act 2 is usually a battle scene featuring members of rival gangs.


Act 3 is the reprise/boss battle. Each of these intertwined to give some simple yet extremely exciting levels of gameplay that could be excruciatingly difficult.


The main characters of Grim are the notorious crime family the Ulna’s (one of the many tongue-in-cheek references to their skeletal appearance.) The Ulna’s had a penchant for good cuisine, sharp style and above all else, great music. This is where the game introduces you to the rhythm mechanic.


The game features a plethora of amazingly catchy original tunes composed by different members of the development team. What the game lacked in musical coherence it made up for in sheer playability.


Some of the most unforgettable pieces include fun tunes like “Bonecrush Boogie“, “Locked in this Ribcage” and my favorite piece and the one that generated the most feels, “Tibia Honest, I Love You“. Due to some extremely strict copyrighting the music is, heartbreakingly, not available to download in any form or fashion.


One of the most fascinating aspects of the game is the story on how it was named. Grim Fandango isn’t exactly musically inclined and some may argue it doesn’t even make sense. Well the story goes that due to a simple typo the game was misspelled and the original title was Grim FanTango. This would make much more sense given the game’s heavy reliance on music and rhythm as made abundantly clear in this review.


Grim Fandango was a monster success on release being the first game in history to break the one million dollar mark just after 15 days. This led to developer Double Fine to create other such gaming staples such as Psychonauts and the Overlord series. Though many fans have wanted to see a sequel to this beloved game, no such news has been made. The likelyhood of this happening may seem…. Grim, but as the Ulnas famously said “You can’t go breaking my heart, cause I don’t have one!”


Hope you all found this write up fun and insightful! I'll also take this time to shamelessly plug one of my favorite websites on the net. Hondosbar.com! Hondosbar.com: we can bitch about shit without bitching at each other. Stop on by and have a laugh! 

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Kevin Mersereau   15
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About BarnacleBritchesone of us since 12:03 PM on 02.29.2016

So after becoming a fan of Jim Sterling, knowledge of him led me here and I've been following Dtoid regularly for awhile now. After joining I've come to realize that the community seems like a swell bunch of people (by internet standards).

Seriously though, I tend to enjoy the news coverage here a bit more than most places, and have gotten some actual insight from the comments sections around here.

My main stomping ground, forum wise, is the quiet little place of https://hondosbar.com/forum/ . It's a fantastic group of folks that talk about things from Video Games, Comics, movies and alot of other stuff. We always welcome new peeps if you wanna join up. I'm Axels on there, come say hi! Give it a looksee if it tickles your fancy.

Looking forward to posting and contributing more!