A long time ago, the internet was a different place. YouTube was barely a thing, computer monitors were hulking beasts, 56K modems filled our ears with the sweet, sweet sounds of dial-up connecting , people used terms like “world wide web” and “The information superhighway,” and Flash cartoons were the fancy new form of animation sweeping the nation. Probably no flash animated series is more prolific than Homestar Runner, and those folks knew how to do Halloween right.
Each year, Homestarrunner.com posted a new Halloween cartoon wherein their cast of insane characters would dress up as impossibly awesome pop culture references, and embark on some sort of adventure. For the 2005 edition, they gave us a sort of interactive text adventure, and it’s really freaking cool.
We begin with Homestar getting his Halloween costume together at his girlfriend Marzipan’s house. Marzipan was working on creating a potion, and Homestar foolishly drew ducks and bugs all over her ingredient list (because he’s Homestar). She gets mad at him and tells him to go out and figure out what the ingredients are supposed to be, and gather them for her. Homestar accepts his mission, because he typically does what Marzipan says, and thus starts the adventure.
Homestar travels through the woods and encounters different characters along the way. Each person you come in contact with results in a brief, interactive dialogue tree, and depending on what you say to them, you’ll get different ingredients. The conversations are pretty entertaining in their own right, but it’s the Halloween costumes your friends are wearing that really make the whole thing fantastic. Some of these are just perfect, like Pom Pom dressed as Walter from The Big Lebowski or Strong Bad as Jambi the Genie from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. (Homsar as Tingle is kind of perfect, too).
Once you’ve collected enough ingredients, Homestar heads home to Marzipan where the potion is made, and then offered to Homestar as a tall glass of melonade, which he then drinks and gets transformed into something weird. Depending on the ingredients you gathered, Homestar’s transformation will differ. They’re all funny, and accompanied by their own strings of dialogue.
So, this can be viewed on their YouTube channel, but it’s best to just go to homestarrunner.com and play it for yourself. Watching the video make the choices for you kind of kills the fun. But no matter how you consume it, this is a must for anyone looking for a quick Halloween-themed distraction.