Fez

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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Cover art by Brian Lee O'Malley

Fez is a 2012 Xbox Live Arcade puzzle platformer by indie game designer Phil Fish, 5 years in development. The game has players control Gomez, a small white... thing who lives happily in his peaceful, floating 2D village until he comes across a magical fez which reveals a shocking truth to him: the world is actually 3-Dimensional. The fez allows him to perceive the 3D world and shift dimensions, but he can still only move across 2D planes. Using this newfound ability, he sets off to collect several pieces of a giant magical cube that has been scattered all over the land, causing the fabric of reality to tear apart.

Tropes used in Fez include:
  • 100% Completion: Collecting all of the cubes, anti-cubes, artifacts and heart-shaped polygons.
  • 3D Movie: Beat the game twice to unlock a stereoscopic vision mode.
  • Alien Geometries: Fez is all about this. Although it's a 2D character getting used to 3D geometries. It gives a rough idea of what it would be like having a a 4D entity phasing around 3 dimensions.
    • Bonus points for Dot's design; since Dot is a tesseract[1], the game contains a 2D character navigating a 3D environment with a 4D companion.
    • That Twin Peaks-inspired house with the red curtains inside. You walk into the house in one area, look around, and see there's nothing inside but the door you entered through... but when you leave, you emerge in a completely different area.
  • Block Puzzle
  • Bottomless Pit
  • Cartoon Bomb: These can be picked up and used to blow up cracked walls.
  • Con Lang: Many characters speak a completely made-up language.
  • Crate Expectations: There are crates meant to be picked up and thrown. On buttons for an example.
  • Dark World
  • Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: After falling/dying, Gomez will simply be transported right back to the last stable platform he was on.
  • Directionally Solid Platforms: You can jump through the platforms from below. You can also drop down from them.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: A large cube is broken into numerous smaller cubes and a lot of those cubes are broken into even smaller cube bits.
  • The Ditz: Dot is hilariously useless and airheaded.
  • Excuse Plot: Something bad happened. Now go find cubes. Or something.
  • Exposition Fairy: The ever-rotating rainbow-colored tesseract.
  • Fictionary: Extensively used throughout the game, both for letters and numbers. Decoding both is key to solving several of the higher-end puzzles.
  • Floating Platforms
  • Gainax Ending: Ending can't be different than the premise allows it to have.
  • Ghibli Hills
  • Gotta Catch Em All: Invoked by name.
  • Guide Dang It: Unless you're a rocket scientist working at NASA, your chances of finding everything in this game without a walkthrough are slim to none.
    • The heart cubes take the absolute cake.
  • Heroic Mime: Gomez.
  • Homage: Several of them, including Super Mario Bros and Cave Story.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: For some reason, treasure chests can be found out in the open.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: Just about everyone but Dot talks a bit… off, grammatically.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: A single-use key fits all the locks.
  • Interface Screw
  • Invisible Block: These are present in the ghost area and are revealed by lightning and water droplets hitting them.
  • Item Get: The main character does a victory pose when acquiring a cube or other item.
  • Jump Physics
  • Let's Play: One ongoing by Northernlion.
  • Lightning Reveal: Lightning reveals some things in some levels. For an example, platforms and ghosts.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle
  • Mind Screw: The game plays numerous tricks on the player, such as pretending to crash.
  • Multiple Endings: The ending depends on whether you go to the final point with half or more of the cubes or all of them.
  • New Game+: Finishing the game grants this, which comes with all speech and non-puzzle signs in English and a first-person ability (that allows the player to see the world from Gomez's eyes).
  • Nice Hat: The cube grants Gomez a Fez at the start of the adventure. In addition, one character tells him, "Nice hat."
  • No Fourth Wall
  • No Plot, No Problem
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: While there are no enemies in the game, Gomez cannot withstand long falls.
  • Owl Be Damned: Inhabitants are not fond of owls.
  • Painting the Medium: Monoliths with a vertical split down the middle cause the player's controller to vibrate if Gomez stands next to them, providing a clue towards that screen's secret.
  • Perspective Magic: Major aspect of the game. The magic part comes from the platforms staying the same size all the time, no matter how they're rotated.
    • Further explored after you unlock the first-person viewpoint, which allows you to see previously hidden imagery.
  • Rank Inflation: 209.4% is the maximum percentage. More if you abuse some glitches.
  • Retraux: Except for the innovative trixel graphic engine (which is a modified, update variation on voxels), it would have been impossible to create in the NES/SNES era.
  • Scenery Porn
  • Shout-Out: There are numerous references to other games, such as Tetris pieces and the guide character busting out a "Hey! Listen!".
    • Upon starting New Game+, players who receive the fez a second time are treated to sunglasses descending onto Gomez's face in a manner identical to the "Deal With It" meme.
  • Sugar Bowl
  • Surreal Humor
  • Suspiciously Cracked Wall: If the wall is cracked and there's a bomb in an area, chances are you're gonna use the bomb on cracked wall.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: The female creatures are distinguishable by long hair and/or by bows in their hair... even if not all of them actually have hair.
  • Title Drop: Extra points are awarded to the developers for literally dropping the Fez from the sky
  • Two Point Five D: The game blends 2D with 3D to create spatial puzzles.
  • Waiting Puzzle
  • Warp Zone
  • When All Else Fails Go Right: Or left. Or up. Or down.
  • Wrap Around: Some areas loop when going too much up or down.
  1. Tesseract is to cube what cube is to square (i.e. a dimension higher).