Grim Fandango is a PC adventure game created by Lucas Arts and released in 1998. This year a digitally remastered version was released which gives a whole new generation the chance to enjoy this classic game. As the story goes, our hero is Manny Calavera. News Flash: he’s dead. In fact everybody in this game is dead because it’s set in The Land of the Dead. Manny is a travel agent of death (voiced by veteran actor, Tony Plana) which means he reaps dead souls and sets up their transportation to their final reward.
Unfortunately Manny’s climb up the Department of Death’s ladder of success has taken a downward trajectory lately and he needs a premium client in order to get back on top, but Manny is a man with a plan. Of course the plan doesn’t go as expected and soon our skeleton guy is up to his eye sockets in trouble, but that’s just the beginning.
I bought the game for USD $14.99 on Steam today and will catch up with the Mostly Walking boys’ progress. For the past couple weeks Sean “Day ” Plott, Sean Bouchard and Bill Graner have been tipsily playing it on Twitch. The Grim Fandango episodes have been almost non-stop laughs so far but not just because of the on-air/chat drinking game, which I play with tea instead of booze. (Responsibilities, yo.) Anyway the characters have surprisingly snappy dialogue, atop the ridiculous situations only found in an adventure game. By the way, although the games played on Mostly Walking are kid-friendly, the language heard from Sean2 and Bill is most definitely not. They’re hilarious but very sweary, so consider yourself warned.
Grim Fandango’s visuals in the remastered edition have had an HD facelift and the soundtrack was re-recorded with a full orchestra, which is probably my favourite part of the game so far. I’m not 100% sold that the Latino characters are offensively stereotypical, but it’s definitely refreshing to see female characters who are spunky but not inexplicably mean-spirited. Grim Fandango reminds me of Dead Like Me, a Showtime series I loved to watch, although a much more family friendly version of sassy grim reapers and afterlife problems. There’ll surely be more discoveries when I get into the game for myself but more about that soundtrack.
There’s a great website called GrimFandango.net that’s been around since the game’s initial release. It features plenty information including a detailed walkthrough, Easter eggs, behind-the-scenes goodies and the original soundtrack which has been made available for fans free of charge by LucasArts. I really do love it and encourage you to click over there and give it a listen. The tunes fit the story’s weird, Latin Jazz, film noir vibe and unapologetically fun. If you’re of an appropriate age, I heartily invite you to join me on Monday night from 10pm EST for the Mostly Walking Twitch stream. You can find me in the chatroom as 1opinionated where I’ll be cracking jokes with the other Day Knights (aka DayTV subscribers) and on Twitter as usual.