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Tearing You Apart, Again: Lisa - The Painful RPG

I hadn’t seen anything of Lisa for a long time. The last time we encountered one another, the RPG was still lingering on Kickstarter, where its creator sought $7,000 and eventually raised more than double that figure. Release had originally been planned for May but I can forgive the delay because the final product looks as horribly compelling as I’d hoped. There’s a new trailer below, which serves as a warning that the game is nearly ready for release, and if you’ve ever had nightmares about an alternate reality in which Earthbound was a game about limb loss and perverts, this just might be the manifestation of your darkest thoughts.

Am I supposed to be laughing or wincing? Both? I don’t know the world or mind that Lisa springs from, but it makes me frown and shudder in a way that nothing else does. The retro graphics are immediately justified by the uncanny sense they create – make this without those ties to the past and it’d either be unnecessarily realistic and grotesque, or so thoroughly disconnected from the weird RPG origins that it wouldn’t feel like the broken maturation of something relatively innocent.

The trailer is highly effective because it doesn’t tell me too much. That music has burrowed into my brain already and I can see the basic actions of combat and side-scrolling exploration and basic platforming. But I don’t know what it all means yet and hopefully I’ll still be at least partially in the dark when it’s all over.

Lisa is out soon. The YouTube video description links to the Greenlight page (vote!) and has this brief description:

A Hell hole RPG, hide the kids.

I’m tempted to hide myself.

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Adam Smith

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