Ultro-Huge Psychonauts Screenshot Gallery – Part One

By John Walker on February 14th, 2012 at 1:14 pm.

This is the game that every game should be.

With all the recent brouhaha over Tim Schafer, from his raising $1.75m in four days, to the suggestion that Notch might fund a Psychonauts sequel, it was unavoidable that I’d replay Psychonauts. The astonishing game is in my all-time top 10, and makes me want to hug the planet and have them see. When I’m done with the play through I’ll not be able to stop myself writing about it, but at this convenient midpoint I thought I’d pause to share the joy with you in the form of 38 screenshots. I implore you to buy Psychonauts. If you’ve never played it, it’s so much more than you could be expecting. It’s on Steam for £6 and Good Old Games for $10. Just look.

You can click on all of them to make them bigger.

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121 Comments »

  1. db1331 says:

    I got it on sale last year for $2.50. It turned out to be so good it felt like stealing. I had a stupid grin on my face the moment the proper game started. That almost never happens.

    • Porkolt says:

      Sounds like this game really got inside your head.

    • Dhatz says:

      It’s the top game I didn’t finish(by a little) because of other distractions.

    • Suits says:

      It’s inteRazting to say the least, haven’t enjoyed a game this much since the original Portal. I picked it up at the holiday sales (haven’t been on Steam that long) and wanted to save it for later, but the Shafer news practically forced me to play it. It deserved nothing less than a 100% playthrough, so i did that and now I’m just sad because after writing my lengthy recommendation on Steam I don’t know where to go from here.

  2. Seboss says:

    I forgot just how weird and awesome this game is.

    • Danopian says:

      Same here. I forgot how brilliantly varied and unexpected the levels (so-to-speak) were.

      I want a screenshot of Napoleon’s wargame, though!

    • iasdfvsd says:

      I dislike that platformers essentially present you with a string of skill tests required to progress. There’s often no choice, it’s a case of “here’s an assault course, go do it” (literally in this case). If you can’t complete the course you are allowed to repeat it (a limited number of times :S ) until you get it, or else it’s game over. http://sup.im/wg

  3. resignation.speaks says:

    Top-notch!

  4. LTK says:

    It’s a shame that the pre-rendered cutscenes haven’t been able to scale like the actual game. All the video just looks a bit blurry, while the gameplay graphics are extremely crisp.

    I’m a grieving widow!

  5. Dr. Tran says:

    “I am the Milk man, my milk is delicious.” Favourite video game quote of all time.

  6. JackShandy says:

    How could put up images with such massive spoilers right under a post that tells everyone to buy it?

    But yeah, Psychonauts is the greatest game in every way possible.

    • Kollega says:

      My question exactly. O why, gods of RPS, why would you just come and… pretty much shove spoilers in the faces of people who didn’t play the game yet?

    • JohnArr says:

      Because it’s been 6+ years and several re-releases since it came out.

      King Kong dies at the end.

    • Askeladd says:

      Well, they are only pictures. I played the game half through and I don’t cosider these as real spoilers.
      It only shows the characters and some levels.

    • JackShandy says:

      JohnArr, you’re either wildly overestimating the amount of people who played Psychonauts, or wildly underestimating the amount of people who’ve seen King Kong. Those are secret hidden story bits, too, it’s easy to go through the entire game without seeing them.

      It’s just a really weird thing to put underneath a post telling people who haven’t played the game to check it out. Especially without any kind of spoiler warning.

    • Wisq says:

      There’s really not much in these pictures that would qualify as spoilers, TBH.

      It’s easy to play the game, look at these pictures, see all the key moments, and think that the pictures spoil them all. It’s entirely another thing to have never played it before, look at all the pretty pictures, and try to derive any plot details from them at all.

    • Highstorm says:

      I can assure you that, having never played the game, the only thing that has been spoiled for me is what an acid trip must look like.

  7. George says:

    Is this on Mac? It would make a lovely Valentine’s day gift, no?

  8. Jahkaivah says:

    Milla Vodello’s nightmare room has to be one of the most screwed up easter eggs ever.

    • Godwhacker says:

      It wasn’t an easter egg, really- it was hidden, but it was very much part of the game, and one of the things that moved Psychonauts from ‘pretty great’ to ‘truly brilliant’.

    • Bhazor says:

      Definitely a high light for me, I so wanted to give her mind a big hug after that.. It’s those little jabs of darkness that made the game so emotive and so much more than just another (at the time they were the chest high walls of today) pastel platformer.

    • Mollusc Infestation says:

      That bit always moistens my eyes slightly (in an incredibly manly way obviously).

    • jezcentral says:

      I was never completely clear: was it a memory or a fear?

      I chose to think of it as a fear, even though all the other characters seemed to have memories in their rooms. The alternative is just too horrible.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      It was a memory. One of Milla’s memory vaults (you can see a few slides from it in the screenshots above) shows what happened.

    • sinister agent says:

      It was masterful. That level is by far the most boring in the game (although the bouncing is quite fun at least), and Milla herself seems the most dull and saccharine character… and then suddenly, pow, emotional sucker punch. And it’s never mentioned anywhere else. Brilliant game.

    • Suits says:

      Levitation is the best PSI power imo.

  9. Culby says:

    For the record, Linda is a really nice lady.

  10. gillesv says:

    I believe a large part of the games’ lack of success was the fact that it just doesn’t translate well into static screenshots. In motion, the game is 1000x better looking than in these stills.

    The range and quality of the animation on display here was amazing.

    • Urthman says:

      Yes. This exactly. The character designs I saw in screenshots were extremely off-putting to me before I played the game. In motion, they are much, much better, although still weird in a way I don’t really care for. The amazing environments more than make up for it though.

      Easily one of my top 10 favorite games ever.

    • Shadowcat says:

      But the still shots look amazing, and always did! I mean… look! Up there! *points*

  11. Lambchops says:

    Oh my god, Goggalor’s heading for the orphanage!

    When my husband drinks excessively, I use this rolling pin to beat him, but we are still very much in love.

    —-

    Not to mention the “are you ready” moment.

  12. LennyLeonardo says:

    Blimey, why on earth did I never finish this game? Time to have another go. Thanks John!

    • Prime says:

      Hah! I know why I didn’t finish it. Two words: Meat Circus!

      Still an awesome game, though. :)

    • jonfitt says:

      Oh my goodness. Meat Circus. That level is smash-a-controller frustrating.
      I got past that but couldn’t beat the final boss. I called it done after many retries.
      That’s one complaint I would level, most of the game is very forgiving except for a few huge difficulty spikes. There should be an out for people who just want to keep playing for the story.

    • Urthman says:

      Worth quoting in every Psychonauts thread, from the Double Fine website:

      What’s up with Meat Circus is that you’re a sissy. Sure, sure, invisibility is very important when Raz’s dad is trying to knock you off those tight ropes. And your shield will bounce the knife thrower’s blades right into those spinning target wheels. And also you can throw a confusion grenade at that bunny and then just go pick it up, instead of trying to grab it with Telekinesis. Those things are also true. But the main point I’m trying to make here is that first one, about you being a sissy.

    • Prime says:

      I just adore when developers blame players rather than admit they’ve made a mistake.

      “Oh, so you’ve been playing computer games for 30 years, have completed hundreds of titles, over half of which were in the days before hard-coded hand-holding became endemic, but can’t get past the massive difficulty spike in our critically-acclaimed title? Nothing to do with us, you SISSY.”

      Er…Fuck you too?

    • Urthman says:

      Sheesh. It’s a joke. It’s hints to what a lot of people never even realized were even puzzles disguised as an insult.

  13. BreadBitten says:

    I remember being super depressed sifting through Sasha’s first memory vault and then spitting my tea out going through his 2nd one…only by Schafer ladies and gents.

    Goddamnit, now I regret selling off my entire PS2 library along with my system!

  14. povu says:

    Can’t miss the opportunity to link Inceptionauts.

    Edit: Tim Schafer actually commented on that video a few weeks ago. Nice. :D

  15. Jams O'Donnell says:

    I’m going to get myself barred from RPS/the Internet for this, but I really don’t like Psychonauts. The art style is just hideous, and the time I tried to just set my dislike of the art style aside and try to play the game underneath I disovered a rather dull 3D platformer.

    Not my cup of tea, which really is a shame given that I like pretty much everything else Schafer has done.

    • John Walker says:

      I’d ban you, if you weren’t the person who codes the banning.

    • Somerled says:

      @Jams: Fair enough. It does get panned from time to time on being a poor platformer, which it deserves. The art is hit and miss for me and I like that style. But the writing is great from top to bottom, and that’s a very rare treat in any media.

    • Jenks says:

      I feel the exact same way – I’m a huge fan of Tim Schafer, and bought Psychonauts on the day it was released (full disclosure: not on PC). It’s still the only game of his I didn’t love.

    • SurprisedMan says:

      Actually, I’m going to have to disagree with every bit of this. I think there’s sort of a general acceptance that Psychonauts wasn’t a very good game as an actual platformer even among people who like it, and I disagree. But just to make sure I’m not remembering it poorly, I’ve been playing it again.

      I’m finding it to be a very solid platformer with a few frustrating bits but no more than I’d expect from a 7 year old game (that was itself several years in development). And considering it’s Schafer’s first and only platformer it actually falls down far less often than I’d expect.

      The levels are fun, all of them are creative and play a little bit differently, the mechanics are sound and feel good (I think rolling around on the ball is a particularly fun way to pass the time in this game). I think it’s a very good, solid platformer which happens to also have great style and writing on top.

    • jonfitt says:

      The platforming was solid for the genre I think (despite a few *huge* difficulty spikes) but what stopped me playing it on release is that I just don’t like platformers. I like climb-em-ups like some Tomb Raiders, Prince of Persia, and Ass Creed, but I just never liked the whole “can you make these 4 jumps in a row” skill tests of a platformer, because for me the answer is often “no I can’t”.
      .
      I dislike that platformers essentially present you with a string of skill tests required to progress. There’s often no choice, it’s a case of “here’s an assault course, go do it” (literally in this case). If you can’t complete the course you are allowed to repeat it (a limited number of times :S ) until you get it, or else it’s game over.
      Tying that to a good story is hugely frustrating!
      .
      So it was years until I finally gave Psychonauts a go, and found that the platforming was easy enough, and I really enjoyed it. But there were moments where only the desire to see the rest of the story stopped me from quitting in frustration.

    • Urthman says:

      It does get panned from time to time on being a poor platformer,

      I would love for you to name a better one (especially if it’s available on PC).

      I find zooming and bouncing around on the ball, floating through the air on the parachute, slamming down to the ground with the TK hand all great fun ways to get around and explore the environment.

      I don’t mind repeating a difficult task until I succeed, as long as it’s not a boring one. Psychonauts can be difficult, but it’s never boring.

    • devlocke says:

      Just curious, but did you play it through to completion? Not that you had to in order to form a valid opinion, but you do have to play it past a certain POINT to have a valid opinion on the game as a whole. It’s pretty lackluster for a long time, but once you start popping into heads like, halfway through, the game becomes brilliant. Or at least, that’s how I remember it.

  16. MonkeyMonster says:

    I’m temporarily delayed while in the bull fighters head (other games, I know I’m sorry). Looking forward to seeing if I can note the changes in the le meat sircoos.

    oh and has anyone seen or built a little app for daily quotes?

    • Hematite says:

      It sounds like you want fortune, or rather an implementation of it on your system of choice. That should get you started for googling “fortune cookies in PHP” or whatever you’re after specifically.

  17. Jeroen D Stout says:

    What is the purpose of the goggles?

  18. Atic Atac says:

    Never got past that stupid fish

  19. Scatterbrainpaul says:

    I replayed the milkman conspiracy level over the weekend. Mainly because my internet was down, my steam account wouldn’t work in offline mode, and the only CD copy of a game I had on me was Psychonauts.

    But anyway, the Milkman Conspiracy probably the best level in PC gaming ever

    • Maldomel says:

      I had to stop playing the first time I got in there because I almost passed out from dizzyness. Still a great display of level design, and a great game overall.

  20. Lemming says:

    I’ve already owned a boxed-copy for PC. I want to buy it again on the PS3′s PSN, but Double-Fine won’t let me.

    Yes, I could buy it again on Steam but I want to be able to play it sitting next to my girlfriend going “LOOK! LOOK!” not shut away in my computer room where she won’t be interested in watching it for long periods (seriously I bought Bioshock twice and she sat through all of it and loved it, wanting to see what happens next).

    And no it is not practical, or a solution for me to hook up my PC in the lounge, so don’t bother suggesting it!

  21. Inigo says:

    I remember Lili having ground pepper sprayed in her face from a grinder that looked disturbingly like a blurred penis.

  22. Retro says:

    firestarters.. levitators.. FIRESTARTERS.. LEVITATORS!

  23. Crazy Hippo says:

    I had to import this game from the U.S on release as they didnt have a European publisher for quite some time. such a great game that is very rarely listed in any “best games ever” type lists.

    pure genius of a game

  24. Loopy says:

    I’ve had this game on disc for quite some time. I haven’t played it yet. I probably should.

  25. Stuart Walton says:

    Finished playing through it again just the other day. Aside from a few horrible gameplay design choices (like the Meat circus checkpointing) it’s a fab game.

    My favourite thing to do was to use clairvoyancy to see how the different characters see you.

    I’m surprised how high res Raz’s textures are, they looked fine on a 1080 screen. Shame about all the other textures though. Would love to see a redux version of the game with a few tweaks and redone texturing.

    If there’s ever to be a Psychonauts 2, Double Fine would have to kidnap Erik Wolpaw back from Valve and Jared Emerson-Johnson back from Telltale.

    • Urthman says:

      It’s not a sure thing, but I kind of imagine Valve would say, “Sure, go ahead,” if Erik wanted to take a few months off to help with Psychonauts 2. Tim Schafer should definitely ask.

  26. Mungrul says:

    I replayed it this weekend too, and thanks to the 2011 update that added Steam achievements (as well as native 360 pad support and proper modern screen resolutions), I discovered a load of stuff I’d never seen before.
    And it’s incredible how well the art style has held up. It just goes to prove that abstract whimsy can make your game age with much more grace than the pursuit of realism.

    And while The Milkman Conspiracy tends to snatch all of the glory (and deservedly so), my personal favourite is still Lungfishopolis.
    FREEDOM!

    Oh, and while people bemoan Nolan North’s omnipresence in gaming, I contend that Steve Blum has him beat, and Psychonauts helps prove that.

    • mrwonko says:

      While we’re on the subject of favorite levels – mine’s got to be Black Velvetopia.

    • Retro says:

      Waterlooworld!

    • Urthman says:

      Even Agent Nein’s basic cube level was doing a lot of the stuff that Mario Galaxy got praised for two years later. (And it had several very funny moments).

    • Rozza says:

      Why doesn’t my 360 pad work!? I was getting gently annoyed by the generic keyboard images but now I’ve seen it with proper, 360 images my second-rate HUD will just annoy me. I just bought it on steam, and I’ve got a wired pad with all the spangly drivers and everything. Guh

  27. pakoito says:

    Oh god the spy level.

    • LTK says:

      Oh god indeed. I was playing that level and at the same time reading One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and at the same time doing a course on antipsychotics and other pharmaceuticals. I’m inches away from going completely bonkers myself.

  28. MannyCalavera says:

    Those screenshots have reminded me just how mature and dark it was in places. Really lovely and wonderful game.

    Think I will play it through again to. If only to see Mr Poke-e-woke again :D

  29. Timmytoby says:

    I got goosebumps just from looking at the pictures of the memories just now.
    I remember vividly how I bounced around the colorful Millla level, everything around me upbeat and cheery and lighthearted, only to stumble upon this tiny dark room and watch the little b/w slides with her horrible horrible memories.

    Such a great great game.

  30. sfury says:

    Well, it’s a doubly fine game.

    *puts on sunglasses*

    No seriously, The Milkman Conspiracy is one of the finest levels I’ve played on any game, and most of the game is outstanding, and I will probably finish it one of these days (GODDAMNYOUMEATCIRCUS!!!)

  31. dgbonomo says:

    Greetings, good people who do not yet have Psychonauts. I hold here in my Steam account a single 50% off Psychonauts coupon: that’s the game for three quid. I only have one of these, so get in touch if you would like to purchase the game but cannot pay full price. My Steam name is identical to this one, but without the g.

    Edit: Aaaaand… it’s gone! Enjoy!

  32. deadly.by.design says:

    I loved what I played of Psychonauts during the Steam winter sale. Though I stopped once I got the achievement, I plan to resume sometime soon.

    I was also amazed at how well the game’s graphics held up. Its wacky art direction really shines.

  33. frenz0rz says:

    What, no screenshot love for Napoleon?

  34. Toploader says:

    This is the first and last game ever I actually played again and decided to go for all the collectibles. Also unlike many interneters, I actually think it’s a solid platformer too (no a sub par one with good story and art on top).

    I even liked the Meat Circus level.

  35. AlonePlusEasyTarget says:

    Funny how I started to play this game a few days before the tweets of Tim considering to make Psychonauts. It has been a few weeks now but I still did not finish the game.

    I think after all the excitement of Milkman Conspiracy the next level seems a bit dull to me.

  36. Zankmam says:

    I still can’t get all of this – Notch/Mojang is/are loaded with money!
    They can EASILY fund a new game, yet are doing some “let’s raise money” shit?

    I call BS.

    • Urthman says:

      That’s because you’re not paying attention. Notch’s offer to fund Psychonauts 2 and the Kickstarter thing are two completely different projects.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      Double Fine had been planning a Kickstarter for an adventure game for a while. By pure coincidence, Notch offered to fund Psychonauts 2 just before they launched the Kickstarter. The two are unrelated.

      The clue is that the Kickstarter game is, y’know, not Psychonauts.

      I think everyone’s hope is that they’ll use the Kickstarter money to make an awesome point’n'click game, and then maybe take some of Notch’s money to make Psychonauts 2.

  37. oceanclub says:

    I really gotta go back and finish it. Got stuck on “Meat Circus” *sigh* then distracted by other games…

    P.

  38. mAk says:

    Next time, when you post a bunch of screenshots in order to make people play a game, please make sure there are NO SPOILERS IN THEM!

    • noname says:

      I don’t think you could count any of these (possibly excepting a couple of the memory slides) as spoilers unless you’ve already played the game. They are images of characters and levels, not plot or dialog.

  39. coreydwillis says:

    Milkman Conspiracy FTW! Still haven’t replayed the recently patched/previously nightmarish Meat Circus level. *Shivers*

  40. Jahnz says:

    I just played through the game about a week ago, but for some reason this game did not click well with me. Perhaps I am just dead inside. Although I think it might be because I love the third person action/platformers while at the same time I hate jumping tasks. I have never gotten the hang of judging distances in 3d games like this.

    I know I should love this game, but I am missing something. I played right through most of it without getting all the figments and everything. Maybe I should have tried for the 100% completion, but I just didn’t have that much time to devote to it I guess. Dialogue scenes that don’t pause after a screen-full of subtitle text are just incompatible with my life now I guess. I can’t devote the uninterrupted hours to a game that I used to be able to and I need things that I play to be able to pause at a seconds notice.

    I also wanted to find whoever designed the first part of the Meat Circus level and pummel them. Escort missions should be beaten and left for dead on a deserted section of roadway.

  41. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    I love you for this… but… the game supports a 1920×1080 resolution and more. D:

    Psychonauts is a game I need to replay more. I haven’t played all the classics, but this is most likely in my top 10. If I had one.

  42. aerozol says:

    I just realised that they’re going to have to fit something like 5k ‘special thank yous’ into the credits.
    Looking forward to seeing it haha

  43. Arglebargle says:

    I really don’t like this game genre, but after playing a trial of Pyschonauts, I bought the game. I’ve bought it now three times (once more on Steam, and once for the toybox for my niece and nephew). When they come out with another version of it, I will get that too….

  44. Ruffian says:

    Damned fine game. Double fine to be more precise! Ah the fond memories of playing through it on the crappy emachine I had before I built my gaming rig. A truly unique and awesome experience.

  45. Ruffian says:

    Also I’m not really seeing any spoilers! The only way you would know that they were is if you had been to that point in game.

  46. WJonathan says:

    Psychonauts was visually stunning, but there were too many times I wished it would just stop screwing with me and be a videogame. When every step of every stage is disorienting, you’ve sacrificed too much level design for art direction.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      I have no idea what disorientation your talking about. All the levels were fairly linear or exploratory. I mean, some were a little dizzying – the Milkman Conspiracy for instance, which literally did mess with perspective.

  47. fupjack says:

    The two things I love about this game are:

    1: The style of Scott Campbell, the illustrator who designed the characters, comes through in the game. I think having an actual visual style consistently in a game really makes it better – and isn’t done enough. The translation of a 2D art style to 3D objects was pulled off pretty well, too.

    2: My kids watched me play through it, chapter by chapter, and loved it like they loved Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket or some other sequential fantasy book or movie series. That level of comparison says something about the game.

    • bill says:

      I always thought psychonauts was one of the few games that’d make a great movie. Though all you’d really have to do is stitch together the cutscenes and make a few action/comedy scenes to replace to platforming

  48. noname says:

    Was I the only person who didn’t mind the meat circus level? (Yes, I played before they made it easier) It wasn’t my favorite, sure, but it never made me want to kill.

  49. Pointless Puppies says:

    Dunno what the big fuss is around the meat circus level. Yes it’s hard but I never really raged, mostly because it was clear it was the final level and, well, last levels are generally hard?

    The level HATE, though, is the theater one. Good god I hate that part with a passion. I had to practically forcefeed myself through that entire sequence. Tiny, cramped space, squeaky girls yelling monologues for 5 minutes straight, the works. I couldn’t stand that level at all.

  50. bill says:

    If anyone’s still reading this – A few recommendations:
    - Play it with a gamepad, I couldn’t ever get on with the M&K controls
    - Give it a little time (the first level isn’t that strong, and you don’t have some useful manoeuvres at that time. You get better jumps and faster ways to move around pretty quick.
    - Yes the lock on combat controls suck, but ignore them – you’ll be able to ignore them pretty quick.
    - Go exploring the open hub world and talk to all the kids any chance you get.

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