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Frasier Fantasy RPG is a perfect 90s time capsule

frasier fantasy header imageImage: Edward La Barbera

The year is 1998. You clutch your Game Boy Color, focusing on your fourth run of the Elite Four in Pokemon Blue, back propped against the couch while your parents watch the season four finale of Frasier on the 32-inch “big-screen” CRT TV in your living room. It is a canon event, crystalized in your memory, as you beat your creature-catching rival while Kelsey Grammer’s eternally befuddled psychiatrist gets romantically crushed by a post-Terminator 2 Linda Hamilton.

With a questionably necessary reboot of Frasier arriving thirty years later, now’s the perfect time for an equally anachronistic Game Boy RPG for the original series. And indie developer Edward La Barbera has delivered it. Frasier Fantasy is a bite-sized RPG following the beloved radio host as he putters around Seattle, lovingly crafted in the style of the Game Boy Color.

The graphics and sound don’t just evoke the GBC, they’re actually made for the hardware — you can download and play it on one if you have the right flash cart. The rest of us can play it on an emulator, or even better, just load the entire game in a browser window (spotted by Rock Paper Shotgun).

In Frasier Fantasy, you’ll make your way across the famous locations of the show, including the geographically impossible Elliot Bay Towers apartment, the Cafe Nervosa, and the KACL radio station. Your goal: To do your radio psychiatry show, rid the apartment of your father and the real star, Eddie, and retrieve your antique grape scissors before hosting a dinner party. The game nails the strange fusion of these cultural artifacts, giving you a whirlwind tour of the show’s cast interspersed with minigames and turn-based RPG battles. Frasier can employ special moves like “Freudian Slap” or simply drone his enemies to sleep with faux-posh psych patter.

The whole game can be cleared in under an hour, and might just be worth it for the Frasier super-fan. Deep cuts, like a battle with Star Trek-obsessed coworker Noel and Niles’ never-seen wife Maris in her sensory deprivation tank, show that this is truly a labor of love. The final boss, featuring a pale, frigid monster that makes Sephiroth look like a pansy, is a particular highlight.

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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