The GWJ Adventure Game Club - Game 17: Grim Fandango

Grim Fandango (1998)


Directed by Tim Schafer, developed and published by LucasArts, Grim Fandango is the first adventure game by LucasArts to use 3D computer graphics overlaid on pre-rendered static backgrounds. Leading to the infamous "tank controls".

Set in the Land of the Dead, where recently departed souls (represented as calaca-like figures) attempt to reach their final destination, this adventure game follows the journey of Manuel Calavera (aka Manny) as he tries to save saintly new arrival Mercedes Colomar (aka Meche) and uncovers a conspiracy bigger than both of them. The game features a gorgeous aesthetic which combines Aztec elements of the afterlife with a film noir style.

You can find the wikipedia page here, the usual spoiler warning applies. How Long to Beat estimates about 15 hours to completion. Available on Windows, Linux, OS X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Android, iOS and even the Nintendo Switch!!

You can find the main thread over this way. We'll be playing Grim Fandango through March 2020, with an extra month for stragglers like me.

Banner art by Jonas Åkerlund, Concept Artist at DICE.

If you get stuck, don't hesitate to ask here, or check out the Universal Hint System!

I'm super excited for us to play this gem, and to kick things off, here's my favorite track from the delightful soundtrack by Peter McConnell:

I'm down. Perfect game at the perfect time.

I'm in. Been waiting on an excuse to give this the attention it (by all accounts) deserves.

I bounced off it early on in the late 90's/early 2000's. The controls really got to me then...but I did make it through Escape from Monkey Island just a few weeks ago (granted with gritted teeth), so I know I can do it in Grim Fandango as well.

AUs_TBirD (and potentially others), rejoice!
You don’t have to use tank controls if you sont want to!!!!! You can switch to “classic” point and click interface, at least that’s how it was in my remastered version on the PC.

There’s a cheevo for getting through the game on tank controls and Tim Shaffer has said it’s the “real” way to play it, though. Just sayin’.


Disclaimer: I am kidding and playing with a p&c interface is a perfectly fine way to play the game, the most important thing is to enjoy it!!

Empezando ahora mismo. ¡Deséenme buena suerte!

First off...I *highly* recommend changing the aspect ratio to 4:3 in the "Special Features" menu. Manny looks like he's had one too many tacos without it.

Grim Fandango is in my top ten of all time, but I highly suggest using the Universal Hint System. Enjoy the story, the voice acing, and the wonderful atmosphere.

Just finished in Marrow, I haven’t played before. No hints. The puzzles are challenging but fair.

I'm going to endeavour to play this game...

Started in last night and got a nice little hit of nostalgia. I had forgotten just how good the voice acting is, and the remaster looks pretty decent too! It's a countdown to the first puzzle where I remember the end solution while having no recollection of how to get there, but I suspect I won't hold out long before consulting the UHS this time around.

Has anyone managed to get this on Android? It seems to be off the google play store for some reason. It's still even linked from the game's official page, but the link just goes to a page that doesn't exist anymore.

I’ve started playing. The game holds up. I like Manny already.

I'm sorry to say that I don't know, d4m0. Maybe you'll have better luck emailing support?

For those of you still unsure whether or not to join in, I streamed the first year (out of 4) last night, so you can find that here. It's been a few years, but good grief, I still know the game like the back of my hand.

I'm feeling like I'm not in the right headspace for Grim Fandango.

I wanted to experience this classic by Double Fine but moving back and forth through the games environments trying random solutions to puzzles doesn't appeal the way it once did. I thought playing with a guide would be the obvious solution but reading three or so steps in the guide, enacting those steps in the game then going back to read the next few steps wasn't a way of playing I enjoyed either.

I've started watching the game through on YouTube and, sacrilegious as it feels, I think that's the way I'm going to go. I get to experience the fantastic characters, witty dialogue, wild feats of imagination and the intriguing story without feeling guilty about being frustrated with the games puzzles.

Tbh, I haven't even started yet. Haven't played much of anything this month except for some stuff with the kiddo.

I'll get back to streaming Grim Fandango, I promise. I'm sorry, everyone, I've been a bit MIA, but between the move and the hospital, I've had very little free time, not to mention that my ISP cut my internet earlier than they should've. But I'm here, I'm back and I'm planning a stream of year 2 on Sunday. Hope you all drop by!

I watched the game all the way though and I thought it was a ton of fun. I can heartily recommend the play through above. Some of the puzzles later in the game, we're very clever. I liked:


How Manny found the metal detector in the massive cat litter tray by waving his scythe over it in the reverse of what you normally do with metal detectors.

I'm glad I've experienced this game now even if not in the way intended. It one of the big ones that escaped me back when it first came out.

That's so awesome!! I'm glad you got to experience it in some form, Hig! I'll conceded that my playthrough may have been a bit of a speed run, because I don't delve into all dialog and Easter eggs. I really enjoyed playing it again, though, because it's such a gorgeous game, very near and dear to my heart.

There's one thing none of you should miss, though, and it's Glottis singing: