Hey, remember RPGmaker? The free tool that launched a thousand (and then some) cookie cutter JRPGs a la early Final Fantasy. Well, one visionary genius saw beyond the formulaic glut of knights and airships and grasped the potential to tell the story of a real American hero... none other than Kanye West.
This dark twisted fantasy takes place in January 2010, as rapper and producer Kanye West suddenly travels through a wormhole to the dystopian future of the year 3030. This could a reference to classic RPG Cyberpunk 2020, or Del tha Funkee Homosapien and Dan the Automator scifi hip hop album Deltron 3030. Or both.
Watch the trailer for Kanye Quest 3030:
In this new terrifying realm, a clone of Lil B the Based God rules the city as an iron-fisted dictator. Does Kanye have the skills to free the true Based God and get back home?
On A Kanye Quest To Be The Kanye Best
Kanye Quest plays like an early Final Fantasy or Pokémon game stuffed full of hip-hop lore and irreverent silliness. You collect swag instead of gold, top up your health by drinking coke, and recruit other popular rappers into your party to help you in combat (with other popular rappers).
Ever wanted to see Tupac deal hologram damage to Eminem? MF DOOM poison a room full of cyberpunk enforcers with his 'special herbs'? Kanye Quest takes rap battles to a whole new level.
Combat options include moves like 'Diss', 'Rap Skill', 'Production Skill' and 'Brag'. At some point you fight LL Cool J, and yes, he has a move called 'Knock You Out', just like Momma said. 'Ye himself can throw down with 'Sarcophagus', 'Croissants' and, once you have a microphone, 'Interrupt'. Sadly, Jay Z's 'Problems' attack doesn't actually hit you 99 times.
You spend your swag on weapons such as microphones, turntables, and laptops, or clothes like Gold Bracelets and Air Yeezys instead of the more conventional sword of flame or iron breastplate. You can also buy soft drinks that restore health or DJ points (required to use those all-powerful producer skills).
Despite being the focus of the game's jokes, Kanye isn't actually the most effective character, and the early stages of the game where all you've got is a low level Yeezy are actually really punishing for new players. But once you've recruited Tupac, RZA and MF DOOM, you're good to roll over any opposition.
Kanye Quest is short and sweet and not the deepest RPG around, but for hip hop fans it's well worth a shot just for the jokes. You can download it for free right here. And I'm sure it's just perfectly harml-
Imma Let You Finish, But Kanye Quest Has One Of The Creepiest Cult Conspiracy Secrets Of All Time
OF. ALL. TIME! No, seriously. Kanye Quest is a fun little fan project with good rap jokes, but what if all of that was actually just a sham, a front hiding a recruitment tool for a bizarre new age cult? As if the mere existence of Kanye Quest isn't amazing enough, it actually contains a dark secret.
Choose NO and the game restarts from the title screen...choose YES and.. in the game, Kanye can get info from these terminals which give hints about the game world. One of them, shown in the above image, gives a faulty message, recognisable as 'ASCEND and worship The BasedGod'. So far, just a creepy background message in tune with the game lore but one user, replaying the game two years after it came out, found that if you tell a certain NPC in the early game that you want to ASCEND, the game takes a really weird turn..
The screen flashes, you transform into a butterfly and find yourself in a strange grey area. The game informs you:
Congratulations! You have proven yourself to be an open-minded and curious thinker. We must apologise for deceiving you, but we can reveal that the game you were playing until this point was a ‘front’ constructed to protect what you are currently accessing. We must ask that you do not reveal this area to the public. If you believe that you may be prone to revealing information, or do not wish to participate, please close this program immediately by pressing ALT-F4 or selecting the NO option when it appears. By selecting the YES option, you agree to participate and not reveal information.
Choose NO and the game restarts from the title screen...choose YES and you get a further message:
The following is a thought exercise designed to help teach you something beneficial. By undertaking this exercise, you will hopefully be affected in a positive way. Due to the nature of the exercise, this “something” cannot be revealed immediately. This exercise may or may not be restricted to this software. It is important to remember that the purpose of this exercise is to benefit you. You will not be timed. We cannot provide any more information, except that we wish you good luck. You may begin now. Welcome to your ascension.
This ascension consists of wandering around a space pyramid finding terminals and clues to the passwords that will let you ascend floors. As it turns out, these passwords can only be found by digging through the game code.
As you make further progress the game screen becomes darker and harder to navigate, eventually becoming completely blank. You/Kanye/Butterfly get occasionally attacked by an invisible enemy, but eventually arrive at the final terminal, which asks you if you want to ascend further.
Select YES, to receive one of the creepiest video game secrets OF ALL TIME:
Over the following two week time period, we will interact with you and your possessions in several ways. Keep an eye out, as some of these ways may be subtle. Others may not be. We may attempt to contact you directly. If we do this, we will attempt to notify you of our presence using a key-word. If you still consent to participation, please select the YES option above. Do you wish to participate?
Selecting YES at this point, and the game asks you for your name and address, and pretends to send your information out, but it doesn't actually go anywhere.
Yeezus, What Is This?
The original player who discovered what's become known as the 'Ascension Level' documented his findings and theories on Pastebin. Since then a small group of internet detectives have corroborated the existence of this secret level and have been searching for answers. The game devs themselves aren't answering questions, the game itself hasn't seen updates since 2013 and, as far as we know, no organization actually reaches out to anyone who completes the hidden ascension quest.
YouTuber Ben Nine shows us how to access the secret level:
The dominant theory as put forward on pastebin and the unfiction forums where investigations share their information, is that the game was a stealth recruitment tool for the Ascension Cult, a new age group with some strange beliefs about clones, butterflies and the transmigration of souls that appear to somewhat relate to the game's themes.
Even more recently, it seems that clues are being left in the form of cryptic messages and links to private videos. There's even an active Twitter account connected to the game, full of baffling insanity:
If it is intended to recruit for this cult, Kanye Quest can't be all that effective, since it took two years for anyone to even find the secret area, and there's no evidence of any players being contacted by the group. But what else could it be? Just a big troll, a meta-commentary on video game easter eggs or urban legends designed to screw with completionists? Or a really elaborate joke about conspiracy theorists that link Kanye West with the Illuminati and the New World Order?
So far, no one's conclusively managed to prove anything solid about the cult connection. But, as it stands, there are two ways to play Kanye Quest. One is a fun JRPG style hip-hop odyssey, the other is a mind-screwing trip to sign your life away to a mysterious organisation.
I think I'll take the blue pill and go with the first option.
Have you played Kanye Quest? Do you have any theories on its creepy secrets?