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Surgeon Simulator 2013

Have a nice trip: 9 video game drugs that induce playable hallucinations

Drugs are bad?

By Anthony John Agnello, Matt Gerardi, Ryan Smith, John Teti, and Drew Toal • August 1, 2013

1. Talbot’s drug, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (2011)

Drug use in the world of Uncharted seems like an unseen but implied constant throughout the series. Nathan Drake has got to be juicing, right? Human growth hormone, steroids—something has to be behind the guy’s unreasonable strength and stamina. Old Nate never pulls a needle out on screen, though, so the only drug we actually know he uses is a potent psychotropic sourced from what might be an imprisoned genie. Talbot, a shady hood in the employ of Nate’s nemesis Katherine Marlowe, doses both Nate and his pal Cutter with the stuff in Uncharted 3, and it does not look like something you’d want to take at a Phish concert. Paranoia, fear, visions of already-scary mercenaries turning into violent desert gods, and full-on existential crises are just a few of its side effects. Nate also suffers from blurred vision and poor balance when he’s on the junk, but that may not be the drug. The guy never eats anything, and he’s constantly burning calories. Try a Powerbar, you goon.

2. Pollen of the Mother Punga, Fallout 3: Point Lookout (2009)

Point Lookout, the best of Fallout 3’s post-release expansions, takes place in an irradiated, mutant hillbilly-infested interpretation of Maryland’s Point Lookout State Park. The developers at Bethesda (which is indeed located right outside Bethesda, Md.) drew from the peninsula’s history and landmarks to populate Point Lookout with stately manors and creepy ghost stories. The add-on’s standout drug trip sequence, however, probably isn’t based on local flavor. While trying to infiltrate a local cult, the player is sent to the group’s sacred plant, the Mother Punga, to gather its seeds and take part in an initiation ritual. Upon removing the seeds, the grotesque plant sprays you with a cloud of green pollen, and you collapse. Things aren’t quite right when you wake up. A ghostly saw cuts through the fabric of reality. The world flips upside down. The bodies of your childhood friends float in the swamp waters. Worst of all, fake representations of the coveted Bobblehead power-ups taunt you with their false promises. “Blech. If my kid looked like that, I’d abandon it too,” the nastiest one says, resting on a surgical table with what you can infer is the corpse of your dead mother. That’s some mean pollen.

3. LSD et al., NARC (2005)

If the psychic fallout from the War On Drugs was made physically manifest, it would probably take the shape of Midway’s 1988 arcade game NARC. Here is the world writ in black and white, where everyone is either a crazed addict in the employ of a Van Morrison lookalike’s disembodied head or a cop with a Porsche, a rocket launcher, and an all-encompassing disdain for human life. It’s hallucinatory, sure, but you’re never explicitly hallucinating. The series’ 2005 reboot is a more layered exploration of narcotics law enforcement. Rather than blowing up drug dealers en masse, DEA agent Marcus Hill and officer Jack Forzenski arrest offenders and confiscate their stock. While taking the illicit goods to the evidence room is an option, it’s more useful to keep them and use them yourself. Smoking weed slows down time in a gun fight. Crack improves your fisticuffs skills. LSD turns everyone around you into either a jester or a devil, so you can tell who’s good and who’s evil. Right. There’s even a fictional drug, Liquid Soul, that makes you see everything in red for some reason. It’s an awfully utilitarian approach to using. Where’s the fun, 2005 NARC? At least those psychotics in the Porsche seemed to be enjoying themselves.

4. Visionary’s Potion, The Witcher 2 (2011)

The Witcher 2 follows the adventures and sexual conquests of scarred albino warrior-mystic Geralt of Rivia. Like any good introvert, he’s only able to really let loose after imbibing a good mead or smoking some herb he finds on the ground with his mystical herb-locating ability. He’s also not above the occasional drug deal. After drinking a moonshine distilled by some unhinged monk—the lesson here seems to be don’t accept hallucinogens from tattered-looking vagrants—Geralt trips balls and finds himself in a land of giant mushroom-penis trees and a chicken of kaiju-esque proportions (such that it also made an appearance on our Inventory of ass-kicking birds). Geralt, being used to this kind of thing, takes the situation with equanimity (he utters a Roger Murtaugh-tinged, “I’m too old for this”) and eventually comes to on a high-up outcropping, with no inkling how he got there. Never apologize for partying, Geralt.

5. Giant mushrooms, Lollipop Chainsaw (2012)

What the hell is it about video game drugs and enormous chickens? Now that illicit drugs are becoming more “acceptable” subject matter for games, it figures that there would be some overlap in style between various developers. But the coincidence here between the aforementioned Witcher 2 trip and Juliet’s trip in Lollipop Chainsaw, which also features a gargantuan chicken, is just weird. Unlike the Witcher’s relatively placid bird, however, you have to fight the chickens that Juliet encounters after she saws through giant psychedelic mushrooms. Or, given that this is Lollipop Chainsaw, you could always situate the camera to get a closeup of a hallucinatory chicken’s ass—male gaze in a daze.

6. Valkyr, Max Payne (2001)

In his quest to seek vengeance for the murder of his family by junkies strung out on a mysterious drug called Valkyr, the renegade DEA agent Max Payne stumbles upon the shadowy corporation behind its production. He discovers that the substance is a performance-enhancing drug that turns its users into adrenaline-fueled killing machines who are haunted by strange hallucinations. Max eventually gets captured by some thugs, is injected with an overdose of the liquid, and is left to die. The side effects aren’t great. Max sees the floor turn into “a vortex of green blood.” The player is suddenly thrust into a drug-induced nightmare in the elongated halls of Max’s old house. (Long corridors seem to be a signature element of game halluciations.) A demonic voice whispers something about the “flesh of fallen angels,” and then you hear the pleading screams of Max’s dead wife and daughter. Your plight gets even weirder when you pick up a phone and a voice breaks through the fourth wall to tell Max that’s he’s actually in a graphic novel and a computer game. Finally, he awakes in a pool of his own vomit. Who needs the D.A.R.E. program when you have Max Payne? It’s one of the most effective PSAs disguised as a video game ever made.

7. Fear toxin, Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)

Yes, Batman’s hallucinations in the first Arkham game—brought about by a dose of Scarecrow’s fear toxin—do result in the umpteenth rendition of Bruce Wayne’s parents being murdered. But like so much of Arkham Asylum, the game builds on a familiar myth to produce intriguing new experiences. As the toxin courses through Batman’s bloodstream, a fairly on-the-nose dream sequence gives way to the truly daring stuff, a difficult level in which Batman must navigate the detritus of his psyche while avoiding a specter of fear that threatens to consume him. The design of this hide-and-seek chapter of Asylum isn’t unprecedented—it owes an aesthetic debt to the God Of War games, among others—but Asylum loads it up with a psychodrama all its own.

8. Mysterious liquid, Far Cry 3 (2012)

Far Cry 3 is the story of how one plucky white fratboy becomes a brave warrior by shooting hundreds of people and taking recreational drugs. Well, the drugs aren’t supposed to be recreational—they’re part of your hero’s harrowing journey into the self or some such—but in practice, they’re the gateway to fun adventures in pretend-land. While you’re on the trip depicted above, for instance, you get to hang out with all your bros and play a little underwater poker, and then you follow a guy who can zap himself over small distances, like the Star Trek transporter, except for your soul. The hero’s running commentary—which includes observations like “What the hell?” and “How’d that…what?”—helpfully lets players know that they are confused and awestruck by what they’re seeing. Perhaps someday, when video game graphics are even more refined, we won’t even need actual drugs anymore. We’ll simply plug into our hallucination mainframes and enjoy immersive depictions of an Australian guy engaging in wordplay while grabbing his crotch. For now, Far Cry 3 offers a tantalizing glimpse of our cyber-hallucinogenic future.

9. The green syringe, Surgeon Simulator 2013 (2013)

One of this year’s oddest success stories is Surgeon Simulator 2013. The game, which puts you in control of each finger on one hand of the world’s least dextrous surgeon, began life as a product of the 48-hour Global Game Jam. Each attempt quickly turns into a bloody slapstick routine, which makes for pretty good internet TV. The game went viral, and an expanded version was later released. But the full version hides a dirty hallucinogenic secret. You lose the game if your patient loses all of their blood. Among your surgical tools lie two mysterious syringes. Pricking your patient with the green syringe slows blood loss. Prick yourself with it, though, and you’re launched into a psychedelic haze. Your vision throbs with greens and purples, and even the quietest of sounds rings out with a thundering echo. It’s exactly the kind of bad trip that ‘60s anti-drug literature was warning us about—only in this case, a human life is in your hands. But fear not. The mystery liquid in the blue syringe can bring you back to reality. Now all you have to do is find it…

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  • PugsMalone

    I’m surprised that you didn’t mention the coffee from Earthbound or the mushrooms from Mother 3. I loved how the hot spring that you see while hallucinating turns out to be a garbage dump.

    • http://truemother.co/ Potions

      That was the first thing I thought of too when reading the headline. More love for Mother please.

    • PaganPoet

      Shit, Pugs…I’m sorry I didn’t read the comments before I posted. I said almost the same exact thing. :(

    • Sleverin

       I loved the sequence from Mother 3 with the edible mushrooms, though I can see why they didn’t drop it on this article, relative obscurity and such. 

      That scene, while colorful, was genuinely horrendous.  All the character interactions with the NPCs were really terrible.  I think the creator said he couldn’t play through that part or something along those lines, as the scene was just too terrible to get through.  Which I can understand when he (I think it was him) made the remark of how he extrapolated the scene in his mind, made me think about how horrible that really would be.

    • https://www.thegamecrafter.com/designers/xyvir-games Xyvir

      Came here to say this about Mother, beat me to it. Kudos, Pugs.

      Kudos.

  • http://jyhopkins.tumblr.com/ Jeremy Hopkins

    #2 was great. I knew it was coming and it still creeped me out.

  • Citric

    Touch fuzzy, get dizzy.

    That’s all that needs to be said really.

    • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

      I love that Super Mario Wiki includes the names of EVERYTHING in other languages.  The Germans lose the sonority by calling it Lustiges Sporen Drama (Funny Spores Drama), but get a drug reference into a video game for children.  Gosh, I wonder what NOE Treehouse is like.  I’m imaging Fabric, London, but with way more Metroids.

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

        Duuuuuude….::bong rip sound effect:: (that’s a sound, right?), have you ever noticed how ALL of Mario is totally about drugs? Like, maaaaaan, all those mushrooms and poppy flowers and rainbow stardust and shit. Maaaaaaan, that game, is, like, totally trippy. ::leans against dorm room wall, falls asleep, “psychedelic” Hot Topic Alice in Wonderland poster quietly peels off of wall and rests on head::

        • Destroy Him My Robots

          Son, have you been playing Proteus with Fluka again?

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

          I was just baiting someone to do a patronizing and racist caricature.  Job well done avoiding it!

          …My 2nd best friend may have owned a similar poster.  Reevaluating lifelong bond: now.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          @GhaleonQ:disqus : My little brother had such a poster. But at least it was an impermanent artifact of adolescence. The ICP Hatchetman tattoo he got at 18 is a much more permanent mark of shame.

    • Wishsong214

       Thank you.

    • Dave Dalrymple
    • http://gameological.com/author/johnteti/ John Teti

      You can blame me for nixing this one—I will suffer the slings and arrows. I didn’t think it was enough of a drug or a hallucination. It is, however, fun to say, so I heartily concur with your sentiment.

  • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

    As usual, I am obligated to mention Deus Ex. Remember the crazy crack-like drug that everyone was addicted to, Zyme? If the player took it, it would induce an effect similar to imbibing several alcoholic beverages in quick succession, which made it pretty difficult to walk around.

    The moral of the story is: don’t do drugs, kids.

    • Cloks

      Speaking of Deus Ex, there’s an early part of the story where a man (your pilot, but that’s currently unknown to you) requests that you get him a beer at the bar. You can give him a beer from behind the bar, but he’ll complain that it’s warm. You can take a fire extinguisher and spray it and he won’t complain about it being warm. The fact that you can do this just continuously blows my mind, even more than all the secret areas and branching paths you can take in the game.

    • George_Liquor

      I don’t remember it making you hallucinate though. A lot of games simulate getting drunk or whatever by screwing with the controls; Red Dead Redemption being one of the best at it in recent memory.

      • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

        Fair enough. Zyme is basically super-heroin.

  • Cloks

    What kind of video games do people enjoy playing on drugs? I mostly partake socially so I don’t get a chance to play video games while in an altered state of mind very often, but I’m a fan of TF2. It makes it much easier to put up with every terrible player saying “this team fuking suks” and all the weapons they’ve added that I have no idea what they do.

    • Juan_Carlo

      Multiplayer games are always more fun drunk.  My favorite to play drunk is L4D2 versus mode.

      • Boonehams

        I would assume the Mario Kart games would be a blast while hammered.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      LSD + Silent Hill 2 seems like a winning combination to me.

      • Enkidum

        Jesus, that could go awfully wrong.

        • social_bobcat

          I foresee someone in such a situation spending an hour on the ‘noose’ puzzle,  just constantly pulling down that deadly circle in front of James’ face, hearing the robe fiber stretttttch.

          Yes, awfully wrong.

      • Marozeph

        LSD would probably be a good match für games like Rez, Dyad and Child of Eden.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          Or Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

        • Mike Wolf

          Can confirm that playing Rez in conjunction with prodigious quantities of salvia is a pretty interesting experience.

          And I now remember that was back in summer 2002 or so. Maaaaan.

          ETA: I think this was also the same occasion we spent an awful lot of time trying to get a million points in a single run on SSX Tricky.

      • Jackbert

        PCP and Flower works great as well.

    • DrFlimFlam

      I found that a few beers made me really good at Rainbow Six 3. I get nervous in multiplayer matches sometimes, jittery, and that smoothed it right out. Nothing major, just literally two beers, and I was at or near the top of every match.

      • EmperorNortonI

        A friend of mine became a fucking ace with the PPSH42 in the original Red Orchestra after a dose of alcohol that would leave me barely able to stand.  And I’m no lightweight. 

        Remember, this is Red Orchestra, the hardest of the hard core FPS games, one bullet death territory.

    • duwease

      Despite the fact that we always had N2O: Nitrous Oxide around, which is supposed to be tailor made to do drugs and play, somehow we always ended up playing Micro Machines.  Interpret as you may.

    • Kyle O’Reilly

      Lately, I like to knock down some trees (if you know what I mean *wink-nudge*) and play some State of Decay.

      I haven’t made it a foot into the campaign really, but I am excavating houses for supplies at an alarmingly efficient rate and it’s always tense as hell as I wonder if that zombie moan came from outside the house or inside it.

      Also fuckin’ Proteus because, c’mon, that’s what it’s made for guys!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anthony-John-Agnello/1362601810 Anthony John Agnello

      It’s been a long time, but my all time favorite combination is pairing DuckTales and ecstasy. A gaming drug match made in heaven.

    • neodocT

       I love playing multiplayer games while drinking. Smash Bros., Mario Kart and Bomberman are always awesome, more awesome drunk.

    • Boonehams

      I don’t partake, but I remember in my Freshman college dorm some guy who would play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater completely drunk and he got high scores that we didn’t think were possible.  He tried playing sober and couldn’t come anywhere close to the scores he got while blitzed.  Another person was a genius at Crazy Taxi while inebriated and another couldn’t be beat at fighting games, but only when he was totally sloshed.  Sober, he wasn’t very good.

      Seeing all of this was almost enough to get me to start drinking.  Almost.

    • TheInternetSaid

      Back when I smoked, the Metroid Prime series was amazing.  

    • TheZeppo

      I don’t smoke anymore, but I see Borderlands 2 being a lot of fun in a stony haze.

      *cue Claptrap beatboxing*

    • http://jeffkocan.com/ jeffk

      Winning Eleven 7 was a big one for me. The Master League thing where you had the option to train your team between seasons to bump up their stats? I’d do every drill for every team member, clumsily dribbling between cones with every stumbling center back on the roster for almost no real-world benefit. But I could do a full training session to a single spin of Elbow’s “Leaders of the Free World,” and that thing just sounded so good on my new Grados….

      Those were different times.

    • Drewsef

       This is a
      semi-embarrassing story, but I remember seeing Matrix:Reloaded on opening night
      after smoking a truly pointless quantity of hashish. Hated the movie, but went
      back to my buddy’s place afterward to play some Mario Tennis on N64, along with
      a small amount of shrooms. Somehow, the idea of becoming one with the machine and
      bending reality to one’s will struck some sort of chord in my massively fogged
      brain, and I was just sitting there in a daze, mouth probably hanging open,
      winning match after match after match and hardly giving up a point. My timing
      was just weirdly impeccable, I knew exactly where I needed to be at all times,
      and I started to see the game not as a cute tennis simulation but rather as a series
      of angles and functions, as if I was seeing into the game’s code itself and manipulating
      it with my mind. This went on for over an hour – I simply could not lose. It really
      freaked out my friends who were playing with me.

       

      Some people
      experience visions of the divine or gain a profound insight into their own psyche
      when they have these sorts of out-of-body drug experiences: All I got out of mine
      was an absurd Mario Tennis winning streak.

    • Mike Wolf

       Drunk TF2 is pretty excellent. I also noticed a number of my regular haunts becoming substantially more populated and more weird on 4/20, which was vaguely annoying for the unsupplied who wanted to play properly, insofar as a game involving thrown jars of piss and fish-slapping is proper.

    • Chewbacca Abercrombie

      I still fondly remember getting stoned and playing Star Wars Pod Racer for hours on end. That was pretty awesome. Also there was the time that my friend and I turned Return to Castle Wolfenstein into a drinking game. You kill one enemy, you drink once, you get killed, you drink twice. We were pretty smashed within about an hour. Don’t know why I had such a hard time with that game drunk. I used to get so drunk I couldn’t walk and do nothing but headshot people with a sniper rifle on Halo on Xbox live while singing random songs into the headset and somehow managing to always be the player with most kills, most headshots, least deaths. The funniest part to me was hearing everyone whine in the lobby un between games how the drunk guy was kicking their ass. To this day I can barely play the game sober online, but drunk I can dominate.

  • ProfFarnsworth

    There was that quest in Oblivion that required you to drink sap from the Hist tree.  This psychotropic drug caused the player to hallucinate an entire village as goblins and kill all of the villagers. 

    • Effigy_Power

      I think we can all relate to that. All those pixie skulls just turned into regular old squirrel skulls the moment my trip wore off. There goes my Sylvan altar I guess.

  • PaganPoet

    I’m surprised that you didn’t mention the coffee/tea from Earthbound. Each one provokes an 60s-esque LSD trip reminiscing about the journey so far and what lies ahead. I always loved the trip-hoppy music that plays during these scenes.

    • Dave Dalrymple

      For me, that moment is what makes Earthbound.

    • Pandas_please

       Yes! I knew nothing about Earthbound until high school when a friend of mine who was learning to play bass played that song for me. What an incredible soundtrack. Some of the best bass laid down in any video game to this point.

  • http://tmaiblog.wordpress.com/ Chalkdust

    Wait a minute, wait a minute.  You posted this the day after the Rise of the Triad reboot comes out, and failed to include shroom mode?  It’s even more disorienting in the new one, as the camera tilts and your whole field of vision cycles through rainbow colors in addition to the uncontrollable wobble and thrumming auditory effects.

    • Copywight

      Thank you, was about to post this. Maybe showing my age, but ROTT was just fantastic when I was a younger person. I preferred playing this one over Doom 2 because it was just so goddamn hilarious. Interested in the reboot, though skeptical as always. 

  • TheASDF

    Those Scarecrow bits in Arkham Asylum were always really neat, they added flair to a game that could sometimes be a bit restrained.

    • The_Helmaroc_King

      Those sequences really gave the developers a chance to show off their chops, and they did a good job of breaking up the pace of things.

      My favorite detail was after the final Scarecrow sequence. You have to fight a bunch of skeletons until you snap out of the hallucination; once you do, you’re surrounded by a gang of unconscious inmates.

      You could say those thugs had a real bone to pick with Batman.

      (Ha ha! Concussive pugilism.)

      • CrabNaga

        The Mad Hatter sequence in Arkham City was cool as well because of this. The part where you have to mash a button to open Batman’s eyes was probably the fastest transition from jump scare to hilarity that I’ve ever encountered. Hallucination Rabbit Batman looked so dumb. Once you got out of the hallucination, you saw a bunch of knocked out goons there as well.

        There’s also the Ras Al Guhl trial and boss fight that takes place in some ruined nightmare cityscape/desert with floating buildings and random debris all over the place. That was pretty neat, too. I figure the reason it wasn’t included here was mostly because the Scarecrow segments are more prevalent/popular and they didn’t want to list multiple entries from the same games.

      • HobbesMkii

        Holy Hallucinations, Batman!

    • Marozeph

      That reminds me: would the sequence in Arkham City where Batman flies after the “Ghost” of Rhas’al’Ghul also qualify? He does drink some strange potion before it happens.

  • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

    Among my pet games, you have to have the Moon mushroom sequence and King’s Quest VI’s mint.  (Space Quest VI had the morphin sequence, but that sequence wasn’t playable.)

    They’re also used a lot in fighting games, but the demands of competition in the genre prevent them from affecting the player.  Wouldn’t every “drunken master” from Sega to S.N.K. be better if your screen and controls got confused?  I think the biggest miss occurred in Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage/Samurai Spirits: Tale Of The Swordsmen.  It’s even more story-driven than typical S.N.K. games, and it’s not designed to be well-balanced.  There’s a really mature story with political betrayals, drug addicts who protect prostitutes, and serial killers who just want to be loved.  NONE of them get rage hazes, opium endurance challenges, or cocaine-like berserker sequences.  I’d love that, even if they altered the video or audio.

    I think fighting games change far more than novices argue they do, but I can’t deny that they’re rarely as weird in function as they are in form.

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      AHEM. We’re talking about the Beggar So type, right? No, they obviously shouldn’t suffer from impaired vision or body control from getting drunk. Just from getting the shakes when they don’t drink.

      Source: Profile picture

  • The_Helmaroc_King

    Bastion had a lengthy hallucination in “Jawson Bog”. It’s due to swamp gas rather than any recreational drug, but I think it’s close enough to count. The developers take the opportunity to mess with the narration and reverse a lot of moments from earlier in the story, like when Rucks accuses The Kid of finishing off whomever The Calamity didn’t.

    There’s two things I especially like about this sequence. One, it happens right after a semi-tragic event, so it kind of kicks you while you’re down. Two, the narration implies a lot about how The Kid feels after The Calamity, despite how blank he is as a character. It does a lot to suggest survivor’s guilt and self-doubt, given what’s happened.

    • caspiancomic

       Word. I was going to mention Jawson Bog if nobody else did. It’s a great sequence for a lot of reasons- the way it recontextualizes a lot of what has come before it (cutting and mixing Rucks’ narration, replacing “Survivor” and “Singer” with “Surrender” and “Siren” when you re-meet Zulf and Zia, Rucks’ drugged-up reprisal of “Build That Wall”, having to fight your “old friend”/Cael Hammer) always makes it one of my favourite parts to replay.

      Also, I think it clues us in to a part of the Kid’s story/the game’s backstory that is often overlooked. Most people explaining the story of Bastion claim that when the Kid wakes up at the beginning of the game, it’s right after the Calamity hit, and it somehow not only spared the Kid but didn’t even wake him. I always thought that the scene at the end of the Bog hallucination depicted where the Kid actually was when the Calamity hit. When you visit Who Knows Where (another contender for interactive drug trips in the game, while we’re at it) Rucks mentions that the Kid was trusted to venture the furthest away from the Rippling Wall while he was on duty. I always figured that the little “camping” segment we play during the Bog flashback/drug trip depicted the Kid on the night of the Calamity, and the image that ends the hallucination was of the Kid watching the Calamity hit back at Caelondia.

  • Citric

    Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box…

    SPOILERS

    … reveals that the entire game is a shared hallucination caused by some fairly intense gas in a mine. I remember remarking on how audaciously fucked up the whole thing was, especially for a kid’s game. 

    • Marozeph

      I was pretty baffled that the game starts (mild spoiler) with a guy getting killed. Yeah, he gets better in the end and the scene isn’t graphic or anything, but it’s indeed kinda harsh by kids game-standards.

    • Dave Dalrymple

      *SPOILERPLATE*

      I didn’t think they would top the craziness of the reveal in “Curious Village”, but they did.

    • neodocT

       I really enjoy how all the subsequent games keep topping the outrageous twists of the previous ones. I haven’t played the 3DS one yet, but I’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t with a combination of extreme infrastructure projects, mass hypnosis body augmentation and nanotechnology.

  • Juan_Carlo

    Games with drugs that your character can become addicted to would be another interesting list.

    At the moment I can only think of Fallout 2 and Avernum 6, though (both which had forms of speed you could get addicted to, complete with negative side effects if you didn’t keep taking them).

    • mizerock

      Interesting! Could you eventually shake the addiction / stat penalty, if you went off the stuff for long enough?

  • LovecraftInBrooklyn

    where do you get the drug in The Witcher 2? i never found it… 

  • LovecraftInBrooklyn

    saints row 4 banned for consensual drug use in australia

  • Staggering Stew Bum

    Of course Uncharted‘s Nathan Drake is on the drugs, especially those of the Colombian variety. Here’s a picture of him relaxing at home, Scarface-style.

  • feisto

    There’s a great text adventure called Blue Chairs where you take some unspecified drug in the very first scene and go on a game-long trip. It’s really well-written, and hits just the right balance between surreal and poignant. If you like text adventures, I’d definitely give it a try (it’s pretty short, too).

    • Chewbacca Abercrombie

      Bah! I hate how I find all the good ideas I have have already been done! I just had the idea in the last few months to make a game that was pretty much just trying to get through a really bad trip with your sanity intact. It would feature a lot of counterintuitive solutions to problems and be completely surreal. After realizing that I have no idea how to make a game, I decided if I went through with it it would be a text adventure game, because I do know how to write a pretty good story when I put my mind to it. I will definitely have to play this Blue Chairs you speak of.

      • feisto

        I say if it’s well made, there’s always room for one more! You might also want to check out Losing Your Grip, too. Different in tone, but also well written.

        • Chewbacca Abercrombie

          Thanks. I will check that out too.

  • SamPlays

    I know there’s a love-it-hate-it-no-I really-hate-it attitude towards GTA IV but the game simulates “very drunk” quite well. 

  • Mercenary_Security_number_4

    I just want to say that I’ve never been to Point Lookout itself, but I’ve been in the general rural area and its amazing how well they captured the feel of the region.

    • Naked Man Holding A Fudgesicle

      SPOILERS

      So the residents worship a brain in a jar?

      • DrFlimFlam

         Wouldn’t you?

    • Juan_Carlo

      GAmeological needs to do its own pop pilgrims series where they go to famous real world locations featured in video games and compare them to their in game counterparts.

      • DrFlimFlam

        Yes. Bill the company and visit London, Chernobyl, the capitol, and the frost-tipped peaks of Skyrim!

      • Dave Dalrymple

        I was disappointed that the real Eiffel tower doesn’t have a teleporter like in Twisted Metal 2.

        • DrFlimFlam

          Yeah, but the view in real life sure beats it. It’s just too bad I can’t jump off of the top and land safely in a reflecting pool below.

      • TheInternetSaid

        I wonder if they have Assassin’s Creed tours in Florence?

      • caspiancomic

         John Teti + skateboard + San Francisco = Gameological recreation of “City Escape” from Sonic Adventure 2.

      • Effigy_Power

        I’ve just returned from the deep forests and fetid swamps of Northern Ontario, aka that shitty swamp in Haafingar in Skyrim.
        I don’t recommend any of it.

  • Marozeph

    “We’ll simply plug into our hallucination mainframes” – Tad Williams Otherland-books actually mention something like this.
    Basically, some people with a computer-to-brain-interface use it to plug some crazy code into their mind that works like drugs. If we ever invent some way to plug ourselfs directly into machines, i’m pretty sure “getting high” will be one of the first applications (after porn).

    • EmperorNortonI

      Speaking of SF drugs, Larry Niven’s Known Space series presented the idea of a brain implant that took an electrical charge and directly stimulated one’s pleasure centers.  So, plug into the wall, unending orgasm/high.

  • a_scintillating_comment

    Although Earthbound was good, and probably my first of these, Max Payne’s will always have a place in my heart

  • WELCOME_THRILLHO

    Even though I like New Vegas better than Fallout 3- especially in the DLC department- Point Lookout definitely had the best hallucination. The giant saw, the falling nuka-cola bottles- it’s a pleasure. Compared to taking the datura in Honest Hearts- which just sort of blows out the colors and lets you kill a spirit bear- one can only conclude that Point Lookout’s easily got the best shit.

    • djsubversive

      But the Honest Hearts trip has a shaman telling you to “take drugs! Kill a bear!”

      You’re right, though, in that the Mother Punga trip is much better; it has actual hallucinations instead of a bunch of color filters and motion blur.

  • boardgameguy

    I never played Datura, so I’m not certain it qualifies. But can’t you assume, based on the title, that the entire game is some sort of trip?

    • Mike Wolf

       I’d wondered that myself. Either way, it looks interesting, but not sufficiently interesting to pay the price of admission with no demo or anything. Hm.

  • def

    What about Fuzzy from Yoshi’s Island?  http://www.mariowiki.com/Fuzzy_(Super_Mario_World_2:_Yoshi%27s_Island)

  • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

    Alcohol is a drug. Is there a similar list of video game lost weekends in the works?

    • http://www.avclub.com/users/ghaleonq,4597/ GhaleonQ

      I’m trying to think of ones that actually demonstrate the effects and am coming up blank on 1st try.

  • Kyle O’Reilly

    Wavy visuals and wild hue changes seems to be the go to motif for drug scenes in video games but from my experience it would be more accurate if you’re character just got really hardcore anxious and the camera spun 90 degrees every 15 seconds when you thought you heard something and man you just want to calm down.

    • TheInternetSaid

      …and all NPCs look like cops.

      • Citric

        Wasn’t there a game where this actually happened? It was a bug or something, but sometimes for no reason it would only load cop NPCs, and you could go into a strip club and all the strippers are cops, and the patrons were all cops, and so on. Some sandbox thing, I’m sure I read about it somewhere.

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      GUYS IS IT JUST ME OR IS TRAFFIC REALLY LOUD TODAY?

  • Penis Van Lesbian

    Did the original Prince of Persia have something? I know there were drugs that kicked your health back, but I vaguely recall something more trippy happening at one point as well…

    • SamPlays

      You’re recalling the hallucination where the PoP sequels were never made. At my age, I’m not really sure if you mean the original Prince of Persia or the original ORIGINAL Prince of Persia.

      • http://sarapen.ca/ Sarapen

        There were like 12 originals, I’m not sure which PC version was actually the first one. 

        Perhaps @tomandlu:disqus is referring to the one potion where gravity reverses and you’re running on the ceiling? Because that’s not a hallucination, that is actually something that happens to your character. It’s weird how you can fall to your death and your broken body will be hovering on the ceiling.

        • SamPlays

          I dunno, that kind of fits the bill for a hallucination.

  • social_bobcat

    It’s not that your character specifically went into a drug trip or anything, but I’m pretty confident that Pandemonium 2 back on the ol’ PS1(/2? can’t remember)  was made specifically for players who were tripping the light fantastic themselves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/perfectplasticlips Matt Koester

    No Touch Fuzzy Get Dizzy? Really? 

    • Matt Gerardi

      Nope.

  • Adam Sarsfield

    I am really surprised the level “Touch Fuzzy Get Dizzy” from Yoshi’s Island on the SNES didn’t make the cut!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzO4-jrUl5g
    (skip video to about the :57 second mark)

    Besides have great music on the level anyways, when you touched one of those floating fuzzy cloud creatures the world begins to turn into jello and the music warps along with the terrain.  If you have a firm grasp on baby Mario it is kind of fun to hit as many floating LSD clouds as possible (they are harmless basically) but hit one while Mario is floating away in that bubble making that awful wailing noise and it becomes almost impossible to grab him without hitting more fuzzies or plummeting down a ditch.

  • https://www.thegamecrafter.com/designers/xyvir-games Xyvir

    Hey just found out that Disqus lets you reply directly to yourself. Weird.

  • Sorbus

    My first video game drug experience was eating the yellow mold corpse in NetHack, and then accidentally killing my pet because I had no idea what it was. Surprised no one mentioned this one yet.

  • trekinosis

    Going retro: eating a mushroom of hallucination in Angband is always scary.

  • http://www.jhkayejr.com Joseph Kaye

    The awkwardly named Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem was the best for me. Not technically a drug, but still produced a great hallucinative effect.

  • Deceleration Waltz

    Touch fuzzy, get dizzy.

  • Jimmy do dad

    What is a fun drug game out there? I don’t mean GTA or well knowns but maybe a multiplayer or a single player where you transport/sell drugs with some strategy to it.