What is This Thing?

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GotMAward.png What is This Thing? was named Game of the Month in September 2011.
What is This Thing?
Developer(s) DJ Yoshiman
Announce Date April 8th, 2010
Release Date Episode 1:
October 2010
Episode 2:
September 18th 2011
Episode 3:
Genre Platform
Players 1
Input Keyboard
Medium Multimedia Fusion 2
Platform Windows
Status Released

What is this Thing? is a highly unconventional, episodic platform game made by DJ Yoshiman and first submitted for Nintendo Community Fangame Convention 2010‎. The episodes will all form a trilogy, with possible major events after 2003 becoming smaller sublets of the game to be released after the trilogy is complete.


Episode 1

The game begins with Mario having memories of Luigi and Peach suffering some abstract form of calamity. Mario then boards an airship and engages in revenge battle with a mutant Bowser. After Bowser becomes enraged, Kamek bursts through the room's window and proceeds to launch a very powerful attack at Mario. Before it can reach a cowering Mario, he is digitally teleported to a scene of fragments, featuring screens from Paper Mario World, Super Mario Storm, and other classic MFGG games. The rest of the cut-scene involves an explanation (though somewhat vague) of what's happening, followed by the symbolic creation of Bowser Tech, and then MFGG. The server manager who explains things informs Mario that in order to reach the individual that teleported Mario, he must go through the entire history of MFGG and advance the time in various ways.

Episode 2

Episode 2 takes place in MFGG of 2002, and is primarily based off of the Great Kyle Flamewar.

Supertoad is seen spiraling after his defeat, only to end up back in his office, as MFGG (the main site) is under fire. After having more nightmares about horrid event befalling his friends, Mario is suddenly awoken by Nite Shadow, who informs him that he needs to escape the inferno of MFGG right now. He makes it out of the building, only to be intercepted by Kyle. A chase scene later, Mario is given shelter by Cutmanmike at Sonic Fan Games HQ temporarily, until they can establish what to do. In the meantime, Mario advances time some more by solving the dilemma between Cutmanmike and Mugenmidget quickly, resulting in another Internet Rift. This enables the individual that called Mario in the first place to track him down and attempt grabbing him, only to be interrupted by the server manager again. After these events take place, the rest of the MFGG crew takes action and invites Mario to storm down MFGG and take it back from Kyle. Mario reaches the top admin floor and engages Kyle, who promptly tells him off and turns himself ridiculously huge to squish Mario in a falling battle. Before the battle can even begin, the game glitches, Mario is left to walk around in it, and another window on the right opens, revealing a series of commands to load up "Mother." Another Mario is seen inviting WiTT Mario to enter the middle window. WiTT Mario enters, then walks through a number of chambers full of different eras of Marios in stasis, finally meeting up with "Mother," and being introduced to ZYGOS via computer screen, who instructs them to serve out the report of their simulations.

Episode 3

The premise, as made mentioned in the NCFC 2012 booth, leaves off the end of Episode 2. ZYGOS attempts to bring Mario onto their mission, but is interrupted by the individual who first brought Mario into the MFGG server. The power of this individual proves too great for ZYGOS, and reels Mario right back into the server, making the end of Episode 2 never to be seen again, but also potentially pointless.

Episode 3's story details will be available when the game is released. Currently known is that it's based around the events of 2003. This episode will also conclude the trilogy, answering many of the questions posed in the previous two games.


What is This Thing? has gameplay in each episode that is relevant to the time period its episode takes place in. Therefore, the first two episodes use the default Clickteam engine, which was popular at the time. Obviously later episodes will rely on more advanced engines and programs that were made more popular within those particular years. Each episode will contain objectives or minigames that help advance time.


What is This Thing? met with mixed reactions. The average score for the game was lower than quite a few considerably lower-profile games. These low scores are mostly due to the fact the majority of the people playing the game had little or no knowledge of the numerous obscure references that appear in the game. Among those familiar with the themes presented in the game, reviewers were generally impressed with DJ Yoshiman's high-quality original music and remixes, and enjoyed some of the tributes to the past.

Episode 1

For the first part of episode 1, people were distraught by the inability to recognize what to do during the battle with Bowser. This was caused by a design error; DJ Yoshiman meant to signal the flashing "#2" text bubble as "Button 2," (control being the default button 2 in Clickteam games) but rather, it seemed to state in other minds that you had to press the literal "2" button on your keyboard. Additionally, individuals complained about the slow start to the game.

Episode 2

People were more impressed with the story in this episode, and adored the quirky and insane ending. While there were glitches (unintentional) for the first few days of release, reviewers withheld creating reviews until the game was properly fixed. The main concerns were involving gameplay and replay value. The game had little gameplay to offer (with the exception of going to MFGG after Kyle invaded), feeling more like a visual novel. As well, there was little replay value because of this, and also because of a certain thing the game executes at the end. However, it won the Best Use of Site Resources in the 2011 MFGG Awards.