In American McGee's Grimm: King Midas
, you play as Grimm, a dwarf who has a penchant for fouling things up. Before starting the actual game, it's a good idea to watch the presentation of the story in its original "pure" version, as it provides a very striking contrast between the faithful telling and the madness you eventually unleash upon the story itself. King Midas
is the tale of a king who was chosen to judge a musical contest between the sun god Apollo and the satyr Marsyas. Midas's judgment does not sit well with Apollo and he is cursed with the ears of a donkey. He tries to keep it a secret, but his barber lets the word slip to a hole in the ground - the hole shouts Midas's secret to the world and he becomes the laughing stock of his kingdom. More gods are involved, Midas is purged of his curse (and given a more well-known curse), and he learns a lesson in the end. This doesn't sit well with Grimm. It's his job to make sure everyone's weaknesses are blown grievously out of proportion (Midas becomes an impulsive murderer, Dionysus can barely stand, and Ares clouts his father so hard Olympus crumbles). It's also his job to make sure that copious amounts of blood are spilled; people are gibbed by giant gold coins that materialize out of thin air and Midas's barber approaches the donkey ears in a very Sweeney Todd-esque manner.
When the actual game starts, Grimm is inserted into the opening scene of the story, and it is his goal to make the fairytale as brooding, violent, and disgusting as he possibly can. How does he go about doing this? By simply being himself. Grimm is such a vile being that his very presence brings forth the absolute worst in everything in existence. This automatically makes Grimm one of the most oddly endearing anti-heroes I've ever come across in a videogame. Everywhere he walks, the environment changes from happy and colorful to grim and dilapidated. It reminds me of Okami, except the concept is, like much in this game, turned on its head. As you traverse and foul up the various scenes, a incremental meter fills, and every time a notch is reached, the objects and people that seem more incorruptible become vulnerable to Grimm's nastiness. This part of the gameplay feels similar to the Katamari series. The transformations are quite humorous; statues become gazing Gorgons, citizens become imperialistic soldiers, and once Grimm reaches the scene when Midas receives the Golden Touch (as a gift from Dionysus for rescuing the hopelessly wasted Marsyas), Grimm's foulness transforms everything into gold. The object of each scene is to transform a certain percentage of the scene and "buttstomp" near the pivotal action that progresses the story.