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I Wanna Be The Guy: The Movie: The Game
I Wanna Be the Guy title screen.png

Title screen of I Wanna Be the Guy, influenced by the title screen of Mega Man 2.
Developer(s) Michael "Kayin" O'Reilly
Publisher(s) Independent
Designer(s) Michael "Kayin" O'Reilly
License Freeware
Engine MMF2
Platform(s) Windows
Release date(s) October 2007
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player, boss rush
Media Free download
System requirements Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
Input methods Keyboard, gamepad

I Wanna Be The Guy: The Movie: The Game (IWBTG) is a 2D platform indie freeware[1] video game. First released in October 2007 by Michael "Kayin" O'Reilly,[2] the game is not in active development, despite being listed as a beta. It is best known for its unusually difficult platforming elements, unorthodox level design and utilizing sound effects, characters and music from many other games.[3] The game was created with Multimedia Fusion 2.[4]



Like many traditional games that I Wanna Be the Guy parodies, the game's plot is straightforward and does not heavily impact gameplay. The player controls "The Kid", who is on a mission to become "The Guy". The entirety of the plot is given in a message during the opening credits, a parody of bad Japanese translations and broken English in early Nintendo Entertainment System games.[5]


The game is an adventure platform game and designed in the style of 8-bit video games. Kayin notes the game as "... a sardonic loveletter to the halcyon days of early American video gaming, packaged as a nail-rippingly difficult platform adventure."[6]


The player controls "The Kid". The controls are limited to left/right movement, jumping, double-jumping and shooting. IWBTG is made up of several stages split into many screens, which are mostly pastiches of Nintendo Entertainment System games, such as Tetris, Ghosts 'n Goblins, The Legend of Zelda, Kirby, Mega Man and Metroid. At the end of each stage, a boss must be defeated to progress. The first seven bosses (Mike Tyson; Mecha Birdo; Dracula; Kraidgief [a parody of palette-hacked character glitches]; Mother Brain; Bowser, Wart and Dr. Wily in the Koopa Klown Kar; and a mix between the Mecha Dragon from Mega Man 2 and the Yellow Devil from Mega Man and Mega Man 3) are adapted from classic games, mostly platformers, but their behavior and appearance has been modified and enhanced for IWBTG. The final boss, The Guy, who is The Kid's father, is based on a boss from Contra III: The Alien Wars. The game parodies many 8-bit and 16-bit era video games, such as the frequent use of references and sound effects from the Super Nintendo game Mario Paint.

IWBTG is most famous for its difficulty.[7] Most of the landscape is engineered specifically to kill the player. Alongside a traditional range of recognizable dangers, such as spikes and pits, there are many less obvious threats as well, most of which are all but impossible to avoid without either previous knowledge or trial and error (such as Tetris pieces and "Delicious Fruit", which can fall downwards, upwards or sideways[4]). "The Kid" always dies with a single hit, at which point he explodes into a mass of blood. Although each death results in a "Game Over", the player is allowed an unlimited number of attempts.[8] From the starting screen, there are four different ways to progress; all of them ultimately lead to the same warp screen which returns to the first screen. Thus, to complete the game, the first six bosses along each path must be defeated before the warp screen will allow the player to access the final area.

The game has four difficulty settings: "Medium", "Hard", "Very Hard" and "Impossible", with "Hard" considered to be the "normal difficulty". The difference between difficulty settings is the number of save points available throughout the game, from 62, 41, 22 to only 1 (which is only available for one frame).[9] Also, while playing on Medium mode, The Kid's hair has a pink bow in it (applied in "overlay" fashion), and any save points exclusive to Medium difficulty are labeled "WUSS" instead of "SAVE".

I Wanna Save the Kids

I Wanna Save the Kids is the prequel to I Wanna Be the Guy. It features "The Kid" escorting children back to their home. On the way, The Kid has to save these kids and himself from various dangers, as well as bringing them to the next level. The game closely parallels the classic computer game Lemmings, while still maintaining the notorious difficulty of IWBTG. The game is currently not in development and development is not likely to resume, though the demo is available.[10]


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