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IF Comp ’11 – Ryan Veeder’s Taco Fiction (Is A Game About Crime!)

October 18, 2011

Taco Fiction is a game about crime.**

I don’t think anyone else loves this sentence as much as I do.  It is driving a wedge between me and the outside world.  “Taco Fiction is a game about crime,” I tell the boy who comes by with the tray of fresh pineapple*.  He can’t get away from me fast enough.  None of them can.  They just don’t understand, goddammit, that Taco Fiction is a game about crime.

Taco Fiction is a game about crime.  I want it tattooed on my everything.  Taco Fiction is a game about crime.

* Shh, I’m pretending I live on a cruise ship.  You can pretend to live here too, just don’t remind me that I don’t.

** Taco Fiction is a game about crime.

[Taco Fiction is a game about crime.]

No. Don’t do that. You need to be prepared mentally. You need to be one hundred percent involved in what you are about to do. You and yourself are all you need to come out of this smelling like a rose.
You, yourself, and maybe that sweet little slab of steel in your pocket, that two-and-a-half-pound insurance policy, that cold, hard…
Taco?
Do not waste time being poetic about your gun. Get out of the car.
Oh.

Aside from the usual accomodations, the interior of this automobile boasts numerous empty pop cans, a tall and disorganized stack of documents and a variety of stains–to say nothing of the wonders to be found in the back seat.
This is a really good description of my car, actually, if you substitute “sandwiches” for “documents.”

I just mugged a guy.  I did a crime.  The blurb was not lying.

Once you’re inside, you’re going to go north across the dining room, to where the counter is. Then you’re going to point the gun at the cashier and, without hesitating, tell the cashier to open the cash register. When that’s done, tell the cashier to take the money from the register and tell the cashier to give the money to you. (But don’t say “to you”, say “to me”.) Finally, while still pointing the gun at the cashier, walk backward to the entrance. Once you’re back outside, you just have to get to your car and drive away.
Simple enough, sure.  No doubt it will actually be this simple when I do it for real, because that is how games and stories work.  Right?

I’m picking up some sinister otherworldly undertones from this game.  Which is awesome.  Continue, game.

Hey, those bikers aren’t bikers! They’re
>COPS
ohfuck ohfuck ohfuck

Hmm, a safe with a combination lock.  This game definitely has my interest.

Also, and I super appreciate this, it is not giving me any lip about the phrasing of my commands so far.  I am all “turn second dial to F” and it just does it.  It just fucking does it.

On the left screen, the guy facing Shirtless Wolf Head Guy looks down to reach in his cloak, and for the moment he faces the camera you can see he’s wearing a ridiculous cow’s-face mask.
The titular Paco of Paco’s Tacos is into some freaky shit.

>x clippings
Dozens of photographs and newspaper clippings, chronicling the life and lives of an independent dairy farm. There’s a full-fledged narrative here, with personalities and ambitions and twists and turns, but at its heart it is a narrative about cows and therefore fundamentally uninteresting.
I laughed.

“What’s your tattoo of?”
“Oh, it’s a slice of pie.” She lifts up her sleeve so you can see the ink in its entirety: It does indeed depict a slice of pie. The white curve at the bottom is the plate it’s sitting on.
“It’s cherry pie; it’s my favorite.”
I am going to marry this girl.  Just letting you know.

“You mean you don’t know? You’re in over your head, pal!” he cackles.
But then he reconsiders his statement: “Or maybe you’re not in over your head. But you definitely don’t know what you’re dealing with, that’s for sure. Pal.”
This is all very Eyes Wide Shut, except that it’s not excruciatingly dull.

The shiny thing is a knife, really a dagger. It looks like it’s made out of gold, and it’s sticking out of a human body.
There’s a dead person in this car!
Aaaa!  Man, the narrator really buried the lede… inside another human body!  Aaaaa!

Once you get a good look at the body, you realize it is actually a black duffel bag.
Oh.  Wow, I’m really jumpy for a guy who’s been mugging people and running into crazy cult shit all night.  (Usually with a PC of unspecified gender, I think of myself as female unless my thought patterns have a certain indefinable maleness about them, as with this dude, who has clearly been watching too many Tarantino and Guy Ritchie movies for his own good.  Actually, is my gender unspecified?  I never remember to X ME.)

>x me
Not so hot, lately.
Aww.

Inside Someone’s Honda
This is such a nice car. It’s so clean. So depressing.
I am well familiar with this thought.  Zack, fuck your Lexus.

Oh no, Zuleika’s business is in trouble!  I must help my future wife!

Hey, if you were in a secret cult, would you have a painting depicting one of your spooky rituals on the wall of your taqueria?  I guess maybe if I had a taqueria, I’d be all “hey, fuck the entire concept of consequences; I own a taqueria.”  Then I’d walk around the room for a while saying “taqueriiiiiiia.  Taqueriiiiiiia.”  I am constantly amazed people are willing to have sex with me.

Oh man oh man I’m in the creepy cult meeting room I am so going to get discovered and whacked.

The table is laid out in a spiral pattern: rings within rings of napkins and punch bowls and plates and platters: shrimp, sorbets, mozzarella bruschetta, mousse in little glasses, slices of brie–a tourbillon des hors d’oeuvre that sweeps the eye like a drowning sailor toward the center of its vortex: An ice sculpture of a bird.
Wait, these were the mysterious objects on the creepy cult table, hors d’oeuvres?  That’s hilarious!

I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing in this meeting room, at all.  Oh, wait, I totally have a gun.  Perhaps I should do… a gun thing.

>point gun at paco
As your hand slides into the copious folds of your voluminous robe, the following scenario plays out in your mind’s eye: First, everyone is afraid of you, because you have a gun. Then, one of these creepy mask dudes comes up behind you and puts you in a headlock. Then, maybe they make you into a human sacrifice, or maybe they just toss your body in a ditch in the woods. You manage to stop yourself before you start wondering who would come to your funeral.

You point the gun squarely at Paco.
I think I found a bug.

Oh, man, remember shaved ice? If you get out of here alive, you should find a place that serves shaved ice.
You know who has really good shaved ice, if you live in the Southwest United States?  Bahama Buck’s.  They have this pancakes & syrup flavor and this blueberry muffin flavor and if you get them together with Tropic Creme it is a frigging flavorsplosion of deliciosity.  I had to googlestalk Ryan Veeder really quickly to see if he lives in the Southwest United States.  He doesn’t.  It’s kinda sad where he lives.  I circled him on plus though.  Then I starred him square in the wavy lines.

Checking the hints.  Okay, eat all the hors d’oeuvres… oh, I’m glad I did this, that mousse line is funny.  Eventually a door will appear to the east?  Really?  Was I supposed to have noticed that?

Someone from the meeting room speaks up: “Hey, who’s in the office?”
Oh. Oh no.
Oh fuck.

Yay, I successfully uncovered a crazy restaurant conspiracy!  I enjoyed that, although playing it has somehow sated my desire to inform people that Taco Fiction is a game about crime.

Taqueriiiiiiia.

One comment

  1. I fear I ran into the “annoying timed puzzle in game that previously had no such thing and that locks you out of the decent endings/stupid bug (or bad choice by me?) in the conversation tree that locks you out of the good ending because somehow ‘You want to hear something weird?’ does not include ‘I found this crazy cult conspiracy’ as one of the available followups unless you’ve unlocked it in some way other than finding the crazy cult conspiracy” one-two punch on successive playthroughs. It’s a shame, because this game is great otherwise, but goddamn that was infuriating.

    I also spent an utterly ridiculous amount of time trying to give Zuleika two dollars.



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