Where is the love?: Let's talk about moon: Remix RPG Adventure

It’s hard to believe, but one of the best games of the year came out over 20 years ago. moon: Remix RPG Adventure is unlike any game I’ve played. Even my robust list of Chulip-likes which it contains struggles to match the particularities of this style of game, and even then, the ways in which moon subverts even those qualities is fascinating.

You can read about moon’s lengthy journey to localization here:

This is a place to discuss the themes, story, and pretty much anything you want about moon: Remix RPG Adventure. You can ask for hints, too! Please be liberal with spoiler tagging with both story and puzzle info. Many people will want to go in with very little forehand knowledge.

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This is something I really want to play, it is absolutely my speed, but without a Switch, I feel left out.

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It’s definitely weird to me that it’s an exclusive, though I think there might be a deal. There are some LPs out there, and I think I saw one that was a person translating as they played, if that interests you.

I’m curious if people will make the official translation playable with the original Playstation version. My understanding is that people had tried to translate it but it wasn’t finished.

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Warning: Huge spoilers for moon. I’ve been considering writing something up, too. :thinking:

Just wanted to necro to say: moon is officially coming to PC!

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moon is out on PC… checks notes now!?!?!?!

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For people who want to play with the original button inputs, it also came out on PS4 and PS5 today!

I played it last year on Switch, and moon is a truly excellent game! Mechanically, it’s basically an entire game made up of the quirky side quests in a Zelda game. Thematically it’s bright, colorful and optimistic, with altruism and empathy at its core, but not without a deep darkness to complicate it. There aren’t a lot of games that I would recommend without any caveats, but moon definitely is one!

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Only just finished this a while ago but… I think I can safely echo all the lofty praise people often heap upon moon. It’s perhaps a little too early for me to say but I wouldn’t be surprised if I go on to consider it one of my favorite games of all time.

While I digest that who knows how long, here’re some thought/observations I held onto during my playthrough:

  • For a game of its given time and genre, I was surprised how much the logic of the puzzle solutions just… make sense? I don’t play too many adventure games or games with the sort of cyclical systems that moon has but I was genuinely astonished how little need I felt to consult a guide as I went about playing the game. Even when I did near the end as I finally ran out of ideas, most of the answers I couldn’t reach on my own still felt plausibly within reach (with few exceptions) if I’d just persevered and poked around a little bit longer.

  • Tim Rogers, of Action Button fame and formerly of Kotaku, worked on the English localization of this game and boy does it show! Even more than Dandy Dungeon, I feel like the writing of moon carries his incredibly distinct tone, turns of phrase and -isms that really mesh well with the overall vibe of the game. Silly at times, poignant in others and undeniably one of a kind.

  • There’s quite a few things in this game that are jarringly uncool in a game that is usually anything but. The sister of the Eco crew (all of them in general, if I’m being real), the love you get from the firework maker and his wife after you successfully build a firework that’ll power the rocket in particular are the two that stand out. In terms of mechanics, the only thing I truly couldn’t stand doing (but ended up doing anyway) was winning the special prize in the fishing contest.

  • For the first few hours I was shocked by how eerily silent the game was willing to be, until I realized the reason there’s often no music is because you can just play your own soundtrack after you buy MDs. Once I started doing that, I learned that the soundtrack in this game is incredible too! Big fan of the dreamy Warp-Wet-Woods, the various versions of Kera-Ma-Go that show up throughout the game and Mask, the completely absurd free jazz piece with the alto saxophone.

  • I really liked reading Burrn’s reviews for the MDs because, beyond being succinct and highly descriptive, they do a lot of the same things I do whenever I write about music including making up words and nonsense phrases on the spot that don’t make any sense until you hear the song/piece of music they’re referring to.

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There are definitely a few puzzles in this game that are way, way too obscure, but I ultimately couldn’t be too angry about it given that I would have been able to finish the game without doing everything, and just wanted to get 100%. My biggest stumbling block was realizing I needed to eat a mushroom in order to explore. That could have been signposted much better. Having a hint vendor is also a help, though sometimes they’re not as clear as they could be.

Regarding the questionable stuff:
The Eco crew are definitely pretty rough. The saving grace for that stuff, I guess, is that pretty much every single character in moon is portrayed with a deep irreverence, so it makes me a bit more willing to give that characterization a pass. You can bring a positive reading to them. It’s still pretty bad, though. There are also a few other character designs that verge on racist caricature that I was pretty unhappy with.
As for the Tamaya bit, I was super uncomfortable with that moment, and I think might be the biggest narrative misstep in the game, along with the Eco team. A similar thing happens in Chulip, albeit significantly worse, IMO. For me, the thing I came away with was that both those moments, both in moon and in Chulip, treat domestic violence as a part of couple’s quarrel, and not as a signifier of something much more sinister. It recognizes it as something bad, but not as a sign of sustained domestic abuse. If we removed those attacks from their respective narratives, the storylines make more sense, honestly. Abuse is simply not in these games’ vocabulary, and it wields those moments profoundly irresponsibly.

It’s for those reasons I can’t exactly recommend moon without caveat, along with it’s unique adventure game design.

And yeah, the soundtrack rules. It might be my favorite game soundtrack. Like, ever. I love the radical eccentricity displayed here, featuring everything from trip hop to swanky jazz fusion to Amazonian folk songs. (Seriously, not enough games have jazz.)


Something I’m reminded of when highlighting its missteps that fascinates me about moon is that “LOVE” in this game is not always a good thing. One I always think about it how you take a trip to this small island where a single, solitary man lives where he’s trained his whole life practicing playing an instrument with monkeys, and you show up and, to his dismay, immediately master the instrument. It’s extremely absurd and funny, but you get Love from it anyway. I think there’s something interesting in how, as the HERO of the game rampages through the world, getting XP and items by any means necessary, you as the player go through helping people… ostensibly. But at the same time, you’re also rummaging through the world, doing everything you can to level up. It’s a fascinating dynamic.

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