You are the Batter. You are on a mission.
No, wait. That is incorrect.
You are [Your Name Here]. You are a spiritual entity assigned to the Batter. The Batter is on a mission. His decisions are his own, though you control his body and guide him to where he needs to be.
What is his mission? To travel through the dimensional Zones of this world and cleanse it from the evil spirits called Spectres. The problem? Each Zone is ruled by a neglectful and/or malevolent Guardian. They, too, must be purified. And you begin hearing rumors about a Queen who is somehow responsible for all of this. . .
OFF is a surreal-horror French video game made by Mortis Ghost. The music and some voices are done by Alias Conrad Coldwood. The game was released in France in 2008, with an English translation released in 2011. You can download the latest version of the translated game here. The original French can be found here.
This game is very very French. By which I mean it is surreal as fuck, with a plot that simultaneously makes no sense at all and is entirely sensible. Batter must purify the world and destroy evil spirits. That is a clear and simple premise. But where did he come from? Why is he a baseball batter? What transports him to Zone 0 (where the game begins) when it The Judge makes it clear that nobody else was living in Zone 0? What is his connection to the Queen? To the Mysterious Child who has cutscenes between each Guardian Battle? Who the hell is Sugar? Why are there rings of spirit energy that help you in battle?
Oh, who is "The Judge"? The Judge is a loquacious cat who teaches you how to solve the puzzles in the game before sending you off on your way to the "World Map?" which is "The Nothing." From the Nothing, provided you have the appropriate Zodiac Card, you can access the other Zones.
This world is comprised of four Zones and their inhabitants that are called (by fans) "Elsens". Elsens are neurotic little dudes whose neuroses differ from zone to zone. Better watch out; if an Elsen gets too worked up, or gets deprived of the narcotic Sugar they're addicted to, they can become Burnt and the Batter will have to fight them.
Zone One is the source of the each of the world's four basic elements: smoke, metal, plastic, and meat.
Smoke is the first of the elements and it therefore the most important; without smoke, people would have nothing to breathe. It is mined from the metallic earth and bottled, then sent to other zones so that they may breathe as well. The metal they dig up is also purified and sent off to make tools.
Metal is taken from the cows. Cows are cut in half, and then the workers dig out the massive chunks of metal from inside the cow's meat. The good metal is sent to be purified and formed into tools, but the bad metal is tossed onto the ground and becomes part of the earth people walk on. Both kinds of metals are shipped elsewhere so that other ones may have tools and walk as well. Metal is clearly the first and most important of the elements; without metal, nobody would be walking on anything. Everyone would just fall and drown.
Plastic is a substance that forms the lakes and oceans. There is also solid plastic that the plastic factory uses to make various objects. Because the plastic oceans, lakes, and rivers create boundaries in the world, it is clearly the most important element and the first of the four elements. Without it, people would walk and walk without ever stopping.
Meat is found in the meat fountains of Alma, where it is received from the cows harvested for metal. In Alma, the meat flows freely and is bottled to send to other zones. Meat is needed because without it, the population would starve. Meat is obviously the first of the four elements.
The Guardian of this Zone is Dedan, who is a complete tool.
Zone Two is a gated community of cowards with a giant library and theme park that is Disneyland run by people who hate Disneyland. The Elsen here are the most fearful and neurotic in the whole game, as well as the most gullible. The library could give you some backstory and explanation for what the hell is up with the Zone Two Guardian, Japhet, the eternal bird of fire, and why there's an angry cat yelling at people.
Zone Three is a big happy factory, where all the Elsen are oddly at ease with the spectres in the hallways that are killing them. Everyone is happy happy happy, unless you make the mistake of touching the factory's product. By the way, did I mention that the factory produces Sugar? Only there's something unusual about how this Sugar is made...
The Room is the final Zone. Stuff gets Real in The Room.
This game is definitely worth a playthrough, though if you are like me and rather watch someone else play a game instead of play it yourself, there's always the Markiplier let's play.