Yes, this is a computer game about Kanye West. Yes, many of your other favorite rappers make appearances. Yes, LL Cool J has a move called “Knock You Out.”
In the year 3030, the United States has entered a #fakebased dystopia. A clone of Lil B the Based God rules the nation with tiny pants and an iron fist. The Task Force, once a proud organisation dedicated to protecting Lil B at all costs, has twisted itself into a totalitarian police body dedicated to suppressing dissidents via viciously performed cooking dances. But prophecy has foretold that someday the Yeezy One will come and set the true Based God free...
This is the basic plot of the beautiful dark twisted fantasy that is the fan-made, Kanye-themed Role Playing Game Kanye Quest 3030 (download it here if you have Windows). No, it is not an official release (do you really think Kanye “the next Steve Jobs” West would make his computer game Windows-only?). Yes, it’s a crazy, silly world that inexplicably jams together the mythologies of Del the Funky Homosapien and Dan the Automator’s sci-fi rap classic Deltron 3030, Lil B’s Based World and Kanye West. Yes, many of your other favorite rappers make appearances. Yes, LL Cool J has a move called “Knock You Out.” Yes, it is a fantastic and fun way to nerd out about rap. Yes, I beat it.
No Church In The Wild: The Story of Fake Based World
The game kicks off in Kanye’s house in LA in January 2010 (establishing this game’s protagonist as a pre-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Kanye and creating some temporal inconsistencies when 2013-era skills like “Croissants” are introduced). The first quest is to take out the trash, but it quickly gets derailed when Kanye trips and is transported through a wormhole to “Bay Area, San Francisco” in the year 3030.
Here, clones of West Coast rap greats roam the streets looking for vulnerable n00bs to pwn in battle. The impression that something sinister and unbalanced is afoot is pervasive: For one thing, Deltron and Dan the Automator are pretty much the strongest enemies in this area, while Dr. Dre and Snoop Lion are the only ones you can reliably beat as Level 1 Kanye. No offense to the Deltron project, which is great, but this is roughly equivalent to a regular RPG making, like, a skeleton the hardest enemy in a dungeon and having you build up to fighting it by defeating a bunch of dragons that also happened to have made The Chronic. And the fact that Kid Koala is a threat while E-40 and Too $hort are nowhere to be found—you might as well have a fantasy RPG where you spend the whole time fighting rare kobold subclasses instead of orcs!
Also ominous is the fact that everything is labeled “Based.” This turns out to be a classic case of Orwellian doublespeak, as the agenda at hand is what any true Lil B fan would recognize as #fakebased—the principle of using the #based agenda of positivity as a pretense for something negative. Rather than respecting everyone and protecting the Lil B, the Task Force is, on clone Lil B’s orders, out for pixelated blood (don’t worry, though, the game is rated “Yeezy - suitable for everyone”).
To get through this area and level up, Kanye has to take some tips from G.O.O.D. music affiliate Pusha T (not actually in-game) and focus on grindin' (for full tips, consult the walkthrough below). The early stages of the game are hard and not super self-explanatory, although the gameplay will be familiar to anyone who has played a classic Japanese-style RPG like Final Fantasy or Pokemon, and the characters will be familiar to anyone who has played Def Jam Vendetta. A prudent player will want to save often and run away from a lot of Rap Battles. But once Kanye learns the Rap Skills “Sarcophagus” and “Croissants,” he’s set to take on most enemies, including a 2Pac clone being kept in suspended animation.
After he’s defeated, the 2Pac clone realizes Kanye’s innate Yeezyness and explains that, per the prophecy (naturally there’s a prophecy, although like Rap Genius tackling an old rap song, the details are scarce), ‘Ye has been sent to rescue the country from the clutches of #fakebased. Kanye, noting his own sort-of divinity, slides into the role nicely. From there, the band of lovable misfits must travel to Brooklyn and Long Island to recruit new party members (the RZA and MF DOOM, respectively). Along the way, the party has to contend with regional foes that include Eminem, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, De La Soul, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, The GZA (who’s pretty tough), LL Cool J and fearsome duo Eric B. and Rakim. It turns out that Brooklyn is being held in the hypnotizing clutches of a Notorious B.I.G. clone, who must be dispatched before the party can take on the False Based God himself.
The New Workout Plan: Playing the Game
As a video game, Kanye Quest begins to grow repetitive by the end, with the Task Force members and bosses being the only enemies that offer much of a challenge (it is more rewarding than the 2 Chainz game, though). As a tribute to Kanye, the game is also puzzling, since ‘Ye is arguably the least effective member of the party once it’s fully formed (2Pac, on the other hand, fully lives up to his Death Row reputation). But for Rap Joke Fun, it’s an unparalleled experience.
Each battle plays a beat from one of the enemy’s songs, and all the characters have appropriately themed moves, like Jay-Z’s Problems (attacks multiple times, although thankfully not 99), 2Pac’s Hologram (deals hologram damage to all enemies) or the RZA’s Tiger Style (protects party members with low health). Everyone can Diss, which is a basic attack, or Brag, which boosts defense. Special moves, known as Rap Skills, can be used as much as necessary. Producer Skills, on the other hand, require DJ points, the game’s equivalent of mana. If it were a typical RPG, the RZA and MF DOOM would be some type of mages, while 2Pac would be a warrior, and Kanye might be a rogue or a paladin.
Each city—San Francisco, Brooklyn and Long Island—has vending machines where Kanye can buy soft drinks that restore health or DJ points (Coke and Pepsi), cure ailments like poison (Sunkist) or revive party members (Mountain Dew). The currency is swag. At the Brooklyn and Long Island hotels, the party can rest to restore its health or shop for equipment. Characters can wield three classes of weapons, Microphones, Turntables or Laptops. Clothing like Beats by Dre and Air Yeezys (as well as more standard items like gold bracelets and sandals) help increase defense. Once again, the currency is swag.
The game is ideal for anyone who’s ever played an RPG and wished that their Helmet of +2 Constitution were actually a Bandana of +2 Rap Defense or that their Mithril Sword were actually a Platinum Microphone. If you’re tired of fighting dark mages with unimaginative attacks like Lightning Storm or dragons with clichéd moves like Fireball, you’ll love countering the threat of the Lil B clone’s Woo Woo skill. If drowning sorrow in that Diablo has always meant two distinct things to you, your interests can finally come together. If, like me, you celebrate beating video games by doing the cooking dance, there has never been a better occasion (I won’t ruin the ending, but it is very #rare and #based).
I’m already waiting for the sequel to Kanye Quest 3030, which I’m hoping involves a trip to a near-future Toronto dystopia called Club Paradise where Drake has seized power in the name of the Oligarchy’s Very Own. Or perhaps Kanye will have to embark on a journey to find Rick Ross a shirt. Really I just want a boss battle with Gucci Mane I think. But if this is the only Kanye Quest I ever take, I’m still pretty satisfied.
We Major: Nine Legendary Attacks
Kanye West - Interruption: “For 3 turns, interrupts enemies before they can attack and counterattacks. Requires microphone.”
Kanye West - Croissants: “Makes an enemy hurry up by quickly attacking them twice.”
Kanye West - Sarcophagus: “Puts all enemies in a sarcophagus, dealing damage and lowering their Speed.”
Kanye West - All of the Lights: “Blinds all enemies.”
2Pac - Hit ‘Em Up: “Attacks two random enemies with the chance to confuse them.”
RZA - Gravedigga: “Knocks all enemies out and lowers their Rap DEF”
RZA - Wu-Tang Sword Style: “Attacks an enemy with a chance to silence them. Damage depends on RZA’s Rap ATK and Prod. ATK.”
RZA - 36th Chamber: “Attacks all enemies up to 36 times. Requires Turntable or Laptop.”
MF DOOM - Special Herbs: “Poisons all enemies.”
Stronger: A Brief Walkthrough
It may take some trial and error to get through the game’s early stages, where one poorly managed battle can quickly send Kanye to his untimely death. But played patiently, it’s easy to get to the point where enemies can’t tell you nothing.
Good morning: The key to survival early on is drinking Coke. There’s a free can in Kanye’s fridge, and more can be purchased at the vending machine in San Francisco. To stay alive, you’ll probably have to drink one after every fight until you reach Level 2. There is also a microphone in the power box in the San Francisco area, which will increase your Rap Attack. Stick to fighting Dr. Dre clones and Snoop Lion clones, and run away from any other battles. Once you get Level 2 and Sarcophagus, you can easily take on 2Pac, in the Based Cloning Labs, although you can continue grinding until you get Croissants at Level 3 just to be safe.
Flashing lights: The San Francisco laser array is deactivated in the Based Cloning Labs. The Brooklyn laser array is deactivated by paying the Task Force member wandering around the Brooklyn hotel (he is #fakebased, so he accepts bribes). The Long Island laser array can be deactivated by purchasing a deactivation device in the Long Island hotel shop.
Send it up: Don’t forget to use the menu screen frequently to save your progress. It will keep you from starting over multiple times at first, and you can save multiple files, allowing you to go back and replay the boss battles. Additionally, gear can be managed and optimized on this screen. It’s also a good idea to keep plenty of soft drinks handy. There’s no limit to how many you can carry, and they are a cheap solution to surviving poison attacks especially.