To Cut A Long Story Short: Synopsis Quest

Not as handsome an item as I was thinking of.

Picked up via the ever awesome TIGSource, here’s an English translation of a Skipmore jRPG parody. Synopsis Quest is basically 25-individual episodes which basically the main story beats of a huge chunk of jRPGs. Each one is an individual puzzle, normally based around subverting expectations. It’s mostly affectionate. Mostly. If you get stuck, there’s a video play through below.


  1. jsutcliffe says:

    Hmm, it sounds rather like PSP game Half Minute Hero in concept. I am intrigued.

    • ascagnel says:

      Similar, but lacking the overarching storyline. HMH was sort of like Majora’s Mask on steroids (world ending every 30 seconds instead of every few days).

  2. HidesHisEyes says:

    A couple of ones that made me laugh.

    “Act like a hero!”


  3. Flowerpot Wang says:

    Some pretty awesome awesome gags, and yeah, makes fun of several RPG chiches…

  4. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    The prison one was the only really unfair one, but I never played FF games so maybe it’s a reference I didn’t get.

    • Pantsman says:

      “Fake” walls are pretty common ways to hide bonus treasure chests and secret areas in the Nintendo-era FF games.

    • Hattered says:

      @Mad Doc MacRae:
      Dragon Warrior 2. When I was but a boy, that prison cell utterly defeated me. I finally gave in and called the tips and hints hotline. “Search the cell? Of course I searched the cell. I’ve done Menu > Search on every tile in that jail. Yes, tell me! Hidden entryway in the wall? Gah!”

      Here’s a clip. Skip to about 10:20.

  5. Sagan says:

    Exit the castle in 5 seconds is my favourite. Because that is something that I have always wanted to be able to do in those situations.

  6. Jesse says:

    What I learned is that I still enjoy the narrative arc of the early JRPG, but only when it’s separated from the gameplay of an RPG. I like these silly little rise-to-power-and-save-the-world stories, but RPG battles make me feel the opposite of powerful. Lucky for me, the crest of this particular wave of nostalgia has clearly arrived. Unluckily (for now), it’s arrived almost solely on the PSP and PS3, which I don’t own…

    Anyway, I know it’s a short, sarcastic little game, but it made me feel happy anyway. The cheerfulness, brightness, and optimism of the retro JRPG has no analogue in my city-bound office desk job existence – grinding monsters, on the other hand, has all too many.

  7. Cinnamon says:

    RPG is the game genre with the most potential for silliness and the Japanese are masters of this with games like Disgaea. Someone should make an RPG based on Monty Python’s Holy Grail rather than having the odd pythonic reference in games like Fallout.

  8. Wulf says:

    Played this when I saw it on the Indie Games blog and loved every minute of it, there were some decent puzzles and a few good laughs. It’s things like this, Hoshi, and Orisinal (especially Orisinal) that makes me absolutely love the Internet, but more the people who would share these little joys freely. I’d sent them each a basket of gourmet cookies if I could.

  9. PleasingFungus says:

    It made me grin broadly pretty much throughout, and laugh out loud several times. (For instance, the solution to ‘talk to the princess’, and ‘learn the truth’… and when I watched the video to find the solution to find out how to escape the jail, which was, as MacRae warned, completely unfair. But hilariously so!) I give this game an 8.7 out of 10. (Which is, of course, the maximum score any ‘indie’ game can receive.)

    Oh, yeah, and the one in the screenshot at the top, too. Blast the rules: 10 out of 10!

    • TCM says:

      Heh. Completed the game with no help whatsoever.

      (Act Like a Hero and Learn the Truth were some of the best)

    • Wulf says:

      Same here.

      The one with the boat was my nemesis, and I left that until last. I simply had to wait, and I had no idea that I had to wait, and I wasn’t sure what to do… and when I figured it out I was very tempted to make a Spathi-esque exclamation of “ULTIMAAATE EVIIIL!” at it.

  10. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    All kinds of love and sadistic awesome :D

  11. Ingix says:

    Is the last one “only” the credits or actually some puzzle as well? It’s the only one I can’t ‘solve’ and receive the crown.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Its not just the credits. And you’ve already read how to progress in the game.

    • Ingix says:

      Thanks, I now found the solution for the real ending. First by just randomly mashing buttons, then it clicked.

  12. Oozo says:

    Lovely. and pretty much to the point! Played probably way too many of those games back in the day – didn’t have any problems finishing Synopsis Quest, except for the Ship puzzle… that one was a bitch.(And yes, the fake prison walls were pretty much a standard back in the day – so much so that I figured it out here after maybe three tries. Nobody expected games to be fair in those days!) And yes, there is another puzzle in the credits – the “real ending” being another cliché hold dear in JRPGs, even to this day (Persona 4 anyone? Even though there, it was completely criptic, but pretty much awesome once you gamefaqed it).