|August 2016 Featured Article Winner|
South Park: The Stick of Truth is a turn-based role-playing video game, based on South Park, developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. The game was originally set to be published by THQ, however, their closure prompted Ubisoft to purchase the publishing rights. It was released on March 4, 2014 for the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. It was re-released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on December 6, 2016 for digital download, and will be re-released in Q1 2017 as a physical copy.
Plot details follow.
The game starts with Cartman giving a speech about the war between the Kingdom of Kupa Keep (KKK) and The Elves for the Stick of Truth, a powerful artifact that gives whoever possesses it control of the universe.
Then, the player creates his character, who recently moved to South Park along with his parents. His parents moved to get away from something that happened to him at their old town. To keep his mind away from it, his parents send him out to the street to make new friends. As he walks along the street, the new kid comes across Butters fighting another kid dressed as an elf. The player scares the elf away and becomes friends with Butters, who lives next to him. Butters presents himself as a paladin and takes the new kid to Kupa Keep to meet the Grand Wizard, Eric Cartman.
Cartman is the ruler of the KKK, represented by humans, including Butters, Scott, Princess Kenny and Clyde. Cartman asks the new kid for his name and, despite any name the player enters, Cartman names the character "Douchebag ". Douchebag then has to choose one of four classes: Fighter, Mage, Thief or Jew. After making his choice, Douchebag purchases a weapon and has his first fight against Clyde. After defeating him, Cartman reveals to Douchebag the Stick of Truth, an actual wood stick, which is what they are fighting for control of against the elves. As they talk, the elves attack Kupa Keep. With Douchebag's help, the elves are scared away, however, they manage to steal the stick and Cartman kicks Clyde out the game, as he was supposed to keep the Stick safe. Cartman then tasks Douchebag to bring his top three warriors back to the KKK: Tweek Tweak, Token Black and Craig Tucker.
Tweek comes after Douchebag and Butters run an errand for him (getting a package from a pair of meth heads stationed at Kenny's garage). Token goes after the boys manage to defeat the guard at the gate to his house. When they go to Craig's house, they find out that he is in detention at school. Cartman tasks Douchebag with rescuing him. Douchebag and Butters have to fight Mr. Mackey's ginger hall monitors and manage to break Craig out the school.
After the whole army is gathered, the KKK receives news of the Stick being in the hands of the Bard, a powerful level 10 elf that gets his powers from music. They launch an attack on the Inn of the Giggling Donkey and confront the Bard, Jimmy. As the two factions battle, Douchebag manages to get to Jimmy and defeats him. They retrieve the stick and return it to Kupa Keep. As the day ends, the kids go to their house to sleep. As Douchebag is sleeping, he is woken up by a blue light coming from his window. Visitors peek in the doorway, and he is abducted in the same way Cartman was in "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe".
After the aliens abduct him, he realizes that the other people of the town are being anally probed. The aliens hook him up to a machine and begin probing him After breaking their anal probes, he meets Randy Marsh, who is beside him. After breaking free and being guided by Randy, the two are free and escape. However while escaping, you take out the pilots of the ship, which results in it crashing into South Park Mall, letting out a green toxin.
The government quickly covers up the crash site, under the guise of a new Taco Bell being constructed in the town.
After you wake up from the night, you go to leave your house when you're cut off by Cartman. He puts on the news and reveals that the elves cheated and took the stick at night. In preparation to start a full war with the elves, you are ordered to recruit the Goth Kids, which requires passing a series of tests (looking Goth, being a nonconformist, and dancing like a Goth).
While trying to look Goth however you are trapped by the Elves and are summoned to their kingdom. Once arrived, you realize that Kyle is the King (and Stan is his second in command), and that Cartman is hiding the Stick of Truth, which is cheating. The player character then goes on a series of quests for the Elves, such as tearing down the KKK banners around the neighborhood.
While proving himself a nonconformist by holding up an offensive sign at the PTA meeting, the player is stopped by Randy Marsh and coerced into finding out the truth behind the mysterious new Taco Bell. To aid them, Randy teaches the Sneaky Squeaker, a directed fart for distracting guards and sneaking past them.
The player infiltrates the "construction site" and discovers that the green toxin that has leaked into the sewer systems turns whatever it touches or whoever ingests it into Nazi Zombies. The government is planning to blow up all of South Park in an attempt to contain it, passing off the demolition as an earthquake. One of the agents decides to leave the recorder with the entire meeting on the table, unguarded, and the player takes it back to Randy.
As they leave, the Nazi Zombies escape and begin terrorizing the townsfolk. In true South Park form, few seem to notice or really mind.
Back at the PTA meeting, Randy and the other adults are horrified at learning that their town is going to be blown up. As Randy had not rewound far back enough, he assumes the ploy is to make space for a Mega-Taco Bell, and knows nothing about the Nazi Zombies. He takes a photo of the player holding up the Goth Kid's sign, and sends it to the player's phone as evidence.
Once the player has impressed the Goth Kids and earned their loyalty, you then have an option of recruiting the Goths for either Cartman (Kupa Keep) or Kyle (Elves). Whichever side you choose leads to an all-out assault on the school to retrieve the Stick of Truth, culminating in a one-on-one duel between either Kyle or Cartman. (The player has a choice of remaining loyal to their faction, or betraying them by fighting their own leader.)
Both faction leaders attempt to destroy the player by blowing them away (Kyle with a leaf blower, Cartman with his farts ignited with a lighter) but the player's exceptional control over their anus overpowers them.
Whichever faction wins, the leader orders the Goth Kids to check the inside of the other faction leader's desk--only the desks don't have insides, just tabletops. One of the Goths notice there is writing on one of the desks:
"Check my locker."
The boys figure out it's Clyde's desk, and head to his locker. There they discover a laptop. Through it, Clyde reveals that he has stolen the Stick of Truth, and is raising an army of darkness to kill the Earth. To make matters worse, he disbands the Human and Drow Elf kingdoms, and strips their leaders of their power.
The boys rush to Clyde's house and discover he has constructed a gigantic treehouse fortress in his backyard, and staffed it with his army of the darkness the Vamp Kids, and Emo kids alongside the Nazi Zombies. Craig is also revealed to have joined, as Cartman no longer holds any authority over him.
The boys get ready to storm Clyde's keep when they discover to their horror that it is bedtime once more.
The player returns home once more. During the night, Underpants Gnomes arrive in his room to steal his underwear, but unfortunately, the player wakes up. The Gnomes panic and try to kill him. Failing the first time because the player is too large, they get a wizard to shrink him.
The New Kid goes in pursuit of the Gnome Wizard, eventually ending up in their parents room. His parents discuss the reason they moved to South Park: the New Kid has a special "gift" that the government is interested in using as a weapon. They then proceed to have sex.
The Gnome Wizard climbs onto the New Kid's parents' bed, and the player battles him there. After thoroughly beating up the wizard, he relents, gives the player his shrinking powder, and explains they were only stealing underwear to stop the alien goo. He is crushed by the mother's breasts before he can explain what it does, and the player is crushed by the father's scrotum.
Fortunately, the New Kid wakes up in his bed the next morning, completely fine. An Underpants Gnome is waiting for him, offering a sidequest to help fill up their quota as many of their best men are dead by the player's hand.
On Facebook, Kyle calls a meeting of both the Elves and the Humans, pleading them to join forces. The KKK reacts to this idea with revulsion (and Cartman the usual jabs at Kyle), but Kyle breaks up the fight by saying that if they don't, the world would be overrun by Clyde's army of Nazi Zombies.
As most of their forces had been stolen by Clyde, Kyle proposes recruiting the Pirates, the Federation, and the Girls to bolster their numbers. The boys send the player to recruit the girls, as he has some mysterious ability to gain Facebook Friends at a rate never seen before.
At the girls' HQ, the player is asked to figure out if one of the girl's members is responsible for spreading sordid rumors about another's being at the abortion clinic. The ploy involves the New Kid pretending to be Bebe's boyfriend, and seeing if the suspect flirts with him, proving she is the perp. Douchebag then fights the girl's boyfriend and the girl is revealed to be not the suspect and Douchebag has to go to the abortion clinic and get the records himself. After performing an abortion on Randy, the abortion clinic gets invaded by Nazi zombie fetuses. After Douchebag fights the fetuses, he then starts to fight Khloe Kardashian's giant aborted fetus and retrieves the document. However, the documents are in French and thus has to go to Canada by using a fake passport. In the Photo Dojo, the clerk is revealed to be a pedophile while the real clerk is beaten up, and Douchebag fights the pedophile and goes to Canada. In Canada, the Prince asks you to kill the Bishop and take his balls as proof so he can free the Prime Minister of Montreal to translate the documents. When the documents are translated, the culprit is revealed to be Heidi Turner, who then apologizes and the girls agree to be recruited.
They then launch the attack on Clyde's Fortress. After infiltrating the fortress and defeating Craig, the kids encounter Randy, who informs them that the government has placed a snuke inside Mr. Slave's anus to destroy South Park and it can only be deactivated by abortion. Douchebag uses the gnome dust to enter Mr. Slave's anus and after having to fight many adversaries (including Nazi Zombie Bacteria's, Sparrow Prince and two SWAT officers), he gets to the snuke and disarms it, saving the town from destruction. After exiting Mr. Slave's body, Douchebag and the boys go to Clyde's throne room.
They confront him and demand the Stick to be returned, but Clyde uses the green goo to revive Chef as a Nazi Zombie. After Douchebag defeats him, Clyde decides to stop playing and Cartman retrieves the Stick and kicks Clyde off the tree-house.
As the kids celebrate their victory and the New Kid is declared "King Douchebag", the government appears and the chief agent reveal that they know Douchebag, his real name being Dovahkiin and that they have been looking for him due to his special ability to make Facebook friends faster than anyone. The chief agent takes the Stick and after the kids reveal its power, the agent keeps it for himself and tries to persuade Douchebag to join him to be the Ruler of The Universe. Douchebag refuses, but Kenny betrays his friends and joins the agent. Enraged, the kids attack Kenny, who uses the green goo and becomes a Nazi Zombie to be more powerful. As all his companions are forced out of battle, Douchebag and the others see that Kenny is unbeatable so Cartman tells Douchebag to break the oath he sworn the first day he came to South Park: never fart on a man's balls.
Cartman holds Kenny from behind and Douchebag uses a fart on Kenny's balls, which causes a white flash that expands over South Park, curing everyone from the Nazi virus. As South Park is reconstructed, the boys and Douchebag realize how far the battle for the Stick has gotten and decide to end the game by throwing the Stick to a lake. As they decide what to play next, they ask what Douchebag wants to play. Douchebag says: "Screw you guys, I'm going home" and leaves, to which Cartman replies: "Wow, what a dick" and the game ends.
The game world is two-dimensional, but divergent paths take the player into the foreground or background, allowing greater freedom of movement while preserving the two-dimensional feel of the show. Jumping was trialed, but ultimately shelved early on in development.
The game features turn-based combat similar to the kind seen in the Paper Mario and Final Fantasy games. However, fighting also has a timing component to it, with well-timed successive inputs resulting in larger combos or more successful defending.
Weapons can also be augmented in a style similar to Final Fantasy VII, through different upgrades such as "fire", "electricity" or "gross-out".
There is also a summoning system, allowing the player to summon other characters to help in battle, such as Jesus and Mr. Slave. Most battles involve the player and his buddy against a group of enemies. Players control both the main character and the active buddy so that they can remain in control throughout combat.
Fitting in with the theme of South Park, many weapons, armor, and gear look as if they were created or found by children. For example, one can expect to see weapons such as rolling pins and wooden swords, and armor such as football helmets. The combat of the game is described as, in essence, "kids being kids" (i.e. "little bastards"), with lots of "juvenile violence" with "unsafe toys" - including used tampons, gardening implements and ninja stars.
The game starts off with the player creating his or her avatar and later choosing a class with the help of Eric Cartman. As the game is a role-playing game, there are multiple ways to customize one's character.
One definitive aspect is what class the player chooses, which informs the approach the player takes to combat. There are four classes:
- Fighter - A class that utilizes high armor and powerful weapons, Fighters focus on brute force and single-target attacks to get through battles.
- Mage - A class that, despite being physically weak, makes up for it in special attacks to inflict a multitude of status effects and AoE attacks.
- Thief - A class that specializes in status effects, this class utilizes things such as bleeding, grossed out, fire, and stuns to inflict large amounts of damage over time and immobilize opponents.
- Jew - A paladin/monk type class invented by Cartman. Described as being "high risk, high reward", the player becomes more powerful the closer they are to death.
Because the game aims to emulate the South Park style, typical role-playing quests wherein the player is sent to a cave to retrieve some lost artifact are not thematically appropriate. Quests will be more grounded within the South Park canon, with one example being busting Craig Tucker out of detention. In this capacity, Stone and Parker have taken a direct role in the direction of the game's plot and general atmosphere.
A smart phone that is carried by the player character acts as the main menu for the game. The smart phone contains a Facebook-like app where the player can see their inventory as well as any active quests. It also tracks how many friends the player has made, as well as messages received from other characters in the game.
Items include "health and mana potions" such as sodas, junk food, and speed-augmenting items such as Tweek's coffee. Weapons include hammers, bow and arrows, crutches, baseball bats, staffs, dodgeballs, swords, shovels, etc. Items can be picked up from fallen enemies, bought, and taken from other things. There are multiple collectables throughout the game, such as Chinpokomon dolls, weapons, and costumes. Some never-before-seen Chinpokomon toys that were cut from the show are also featured in the game.
Stone and Parker have stated that they enjoy role-playing games and that they believe the genre is the best fit for bringing the South Park universe into the interactive medium. They also stated that the learning curve was greater than anything else they had done apart from The Book of Mormon.
The Obsidian team working on the game was relatively small, "maxing out" at around 50 people. Many artists also had to be hired from outside the company, since many of the artists already working at the studio preferred working in three dimensions, rather than in the two-dimensional environment of the game. Some other staff at the studio also didn't feel comfortable working on a South Park-related game due to its controversial subject matter.
Stone and Parker initiated talks with Obsidian Entertainment on their own behalf, as opposed to the more common route whereby a publisher acquires the license before contacting the developer. This presented the game developers the unusual opportunity of being able to collaborate directly with the license holders. Consequently, Stone and Parker, who are avid gamers themselves, possessed much more creative control in comparison to previous South Park video games, to which they were able to contribute very little.
Previously released South Park games, such as South Park (1998) and South Park Rally (2000), featured three-dimensional graphics and gameplay that bore little resemblance to the show's distinctive two-dimensional cardboard cutout animation style. Stone and Parker, who have been openly critical of previous South Park games, decided early on in development that great emphasis had to be placed on emulating the show's aesthetic and feel were another game to be made.
To this end, the developers created two proof-of-concept pieces for Stone and Parker; a suite of the South Park gas station and an interactive version of Stan's house, featuring a highly customizable avatar and detailed interactions with the environment (as well as Randy, clad in his underwear, playing Guitar Hero). The creators were reportedly incredibly impressed at Obsidian's recreation of the show's every last detail, right down to the texture of the construction paper. Upon seeing the presentation, Matt Stone favorably commented, "It's like playing the show!"
Obsidian was granted access to 15 years' worth of Maya assets that were used in the making of the series; specific sequences (such as the show's distinctive walking animations) were reverse engineered and integrated into the game. The game runs on the Dungeon Siege III engine, which had to be heavily retrofitted to display the desired two-dimensional graphics.
Authentic sounds from the series, such as the signature guitar bumpers, are also included in the game. The same composer who creates the show's score provides incidental music for the game. Due to the large volume of new voice work needed for a role-playing game, dialogue animations are generated procedurally, using the same mouth shapes as those used on the show.
The game is intended to accommodate fans of both South Park and role-playing games. Thus, the game world is not only in-depth, for hardcore gamers willing to invest a lot of time into the game, but also includes many settings featured on the show, allowing South Park fans to visit the places that they've come to be familiar with.
Stone and Parker had a hand in shaping the geography of the game world, deciding where places visited on the show were actually situated in the town of South Park itself.
In emulating the premise of the show, Obsidian also aimed to include the swearing, gratuitous violence and physical humor of South Park, but in a way that did not become stale after repeated invocations. The game also derives some of its humor from satirizing and parodying other games, including the methods in which popular series tell their narratives to the player. However, the game is much more than a simple satire on role-playing games, forming a cohesive narrative similar in scale to South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.
Players who pre-ordered the game received the Ultimate Fellowship Pack, which came with four exclusive costumes, each with a range of bonus abilities.
- The Necromancer Sorcerer costume bestows bonus fire damage upon those who wear it.
- Ranger Elf costume offers bonus weapon damage.
- Rogue Assassin costume will net you bonus gold.
- The Holy Defender costume will boost your defense.
The other pre-order bonus is Super Samurai Spaceman Pack, which comes with a different three costumes.
- The Superhero costume will buff you at the start of combat.
- The Samurai costume buffs you when you defeat an enemy.
- The Spaceman costume will give you an emergency shield.
You get the Ultimate Fellowship Pack when you pre order at selected retailers. You get the Super Samurai Spaceman Pack at other retailers. Pre-ordering on Ubishop gets you both.
When THQ was still in existence the pre-order pack was the Good Times With Weapons pack based on the episode with the same name. It Included:
- The Bulrog Chicken Attack, summon the devastating ninja powers of Bulrog and turn your feeble enemies into chickens!
- Cartman's Kick-Ass Sai, the ultimate weapon of destruction, penetrate even the most evil of villains!
- Samurai Costume. Show off your brute muscle with this bad-ass getup.
Xbox Exclusive Pre-order Bonus
It Should be noted that the Xbox Exclusive pre-order bonus is no longer available. Preordering the game for Xbox included the "Good Times With Weapons" pack and the Xbox 360 exclusive "Mysterion Super Hero" pack based on the episode which includes:
- Mysterion Special Attack: Harness the elusive power of Mysterion! South Park's protector unleashes a deadly combination of stealth and firepower—your enemies won't know what hit them!
- Super Hero Costume: Suit-up as the next South Park Super Hero! It's the perfect disguise for fighting your mortal enemies and keeping South Park safe!
- Dagger of Cthulhu: Slash the darkness with this diabolical switchblade! It's the same weapon used to stab and kill Mysterion in the twisted classic "Mysterion Rises". And now...the fate of the Cult of Cthulhu lies in your hands!
The following characters are seen on the cover for Game Informer:
Characters who are seen in a trailer or on screenshots.
South Park: The Stick of Truth has received a lot of acknowledgement from online game critics. Some of which have been listed below.
|Computer and Video Games||9/10|
|Electric Gaming Monthly||8.5/10|
- To see images and videos of South Park: The Stick of Truth, visit South Park: The Stick of Truth/Images.
At the 2015 E3 trade show, a trailer was revealed for a sequel entitled, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, which will deal with the boys uniting as their superhero personas. The game will focus on the boys in their superhero personas in a civil war.
- List of South Park Video Games
- South Park: The Fractured But Whole
- South Park Let's Go Tower Defense Play!
- South Park: Tenorman's Revenge
- ↑ "Games". Obisidan.net.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 South Park: The Stick of Truth on Wikipedia.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "South Park: The Stick of Truth". Southpark.ubi.com.
- ↑ "Good Times With Weapons: The Combat of South Park". gameinformer.com (December 12, 2011).
- ↑ "What You'll Find In South Park". gameinformer.com (December 21, 2011).
- ↑ "This One's Different: Developing A True South Park Game". gameinformer.com (December 16, 2011).
- ↑ "Obsidian CEO Talks South Park RPG Video". gameinformer.com (December 5, 2011).
- ↑ "Capturing The Sounds of South Park". gameinformer.com (December 19, 2011).
- ↑ "Back To Basics: Animating South Park". gameinformer.com (December 23, 2011).
- ↑ http://www.cheats.us/game/ps3/south-park-the-stick-of-truth/cheats
- ↑ "South Park: The Fractured But Whole".