Grim Fandango, inspired by the Aztec culture and mythology of the Day of The Dead, has been adventure game royalty since 1998. Its rich film noir look gives the player a taste of what it would be like if they were suddenly thrust into a world full of Mexican heritage, Casablancan romance and Art Deco style, all while fighting to rescue deceased souls and send them to eternal rest.
It has been considered one of the greatest adventure genre games complete with a cult following. It was one of the first games to use 3D computer graphics on a pre-rendered background. It is a typical puzzle game where the characters must gather clues by collecting, conversing with others and using appropriate objects to solve them.
LucasArts made Grim Fandango in 1998 with Tim Schafer and his team of designers. When the game was first released, it was met with great praise regarding its design and visual appeal. Its inception was an attempt at first to revive the adventure game genre but to no avail. Although it was well received by the critics, the general consumer market was not so kind.
The history behind how the main character got his job as the grim reaper goes all the way back to Tim Shafer’s several year fascination with the Day of The Dead. He figured that the player of the game would much rather play that role than a lost soul seeking its place of rest, thus the main character Manuel “Manny” Calavera was born.
When the game was released the musical score was awarded for its soundtrack, with its jazzy, orchestral folksy swing sound. It was also touted to be graphically unlike any other game of its kind, with beautiful aesthetics, colors and theme.
After Disney acquired LucasArts and subsequently closed them, Tim Schafer looked to Sony for help in securing the game. With his new company, Double Fine Productions, he remastered Grim Fandango and released the new version under his company in 2015.
Manny Calavera is a travel agent for the Department of Death in the Land of the Dead. His first client is Celso Flores. There is Carla the security guard, Domino Hurley his coworker, Don Copal his boss, Eva his boss’s secretary and Hector LeMans the antagonist of the game.
Mercedes Colomar is Manny’s leading lady. Salvador Limones is Manny’s ally and the leader of the Lost Souls Alliance. Along with a handful of other peripheral characters, the game provides a rich selection of personalities and identities for the player to manipulate.
Manny Calavera is thrust into the underworld of the dead in the Land of the Dead in the city of El Marrow as a travel agent or grim reaper. After suspecting and finding corruption in the department, he sets out on a four-year journey to redeem himself, the department, the lost souls and to enter the Ninth Underworld.
The remastered version was released in 2015 for iOS versions, Android, PlayStation 4 and Vita, Windows, OS Z and Linux. Now a new generation of computer gamers can enjoy Manny’s soul quest for many years to come.