This. Is. The Great Hamburger War!
An RPG about a priest of the Hamburger Cult who is turned into a hamburger when he speaks against his church and swears to get revenge.
The first thought that ran through my head upon hearing that description was, "WTF!?"
The Great Hamburger War (ハンバーガー大戦争) is a free game made in RPG Maker by someone called Wolf (うるふ). The game was released earlier this year as a free download and is described by its creator as "a shit game" with an average play time of 30 minutes.
Curiosity piqued, I downloaded the game and gave it a shot, and the creator wasn't kidding. The story is as simple as it is insane: one day, Father Han, a priest for the Hamburger Cult, speaks against his own church. As punishment, he is transformed by a priestess of the cult, Sister Burger, into a hamburger. Angered by this injustice, our hero sets out on a quest to kill the cult's deity, the God of Hamburgers.
Simply put, the game is easy as hell. I breezed through it in less than 20 minutes – even spending time to level up unnecessarily. I can't tell if the creator is a genius or just plain nuts. On the surface, The Great Hamburger War is stupid and could almost be called a waste of time if it wasn't so short. Enemies are laughably easy, the overall aesthetic looks cheap, healing at stores seems almost pointless, and the events only compound the ridiculousness of the game itself.
Yet, at the same time, intentional or not, the game seems to satirise the entire JRPG genre itself. The game contains all the staples of your standard RPG. It's got a protagonist with a purpose, it's got towns with stores selling (fast food-themed) equipment to help you on your journey, it's got mid-bosses and bosses, it's got events and twists, heck, it's even got multiple endings. Yes, it's exceedingly short. But at the same time, it made me feel that modern day RPGs have gotten too long. The Great Hamburger War manages within 20 minutes to encapsulate what other RPGs take tens, if not hundreds, of hours to achieve.
The Great Hamburger War is a dumb, simplistic, and short, short, short game. Yet the mere fact that it has me pondering over it days after playing it makes me think that it's won.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go to McDonalds...
The Great Hamburger War can be downloaded for free here. (Japanese only)