With South Park: The Fractured But Whole releasing world wide October 17, we’re getting nostalgic. There are 21 seasons of the often acclaimed, sometimes derided, but usually hilarious show to pull gags from. So we at The Game Fanatics thought, “Hey, there’s so much they could put into this next game that they didn’t in The Stick of Truth.” Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and the fine people of Obsidian managed to put in hilarious throwbacks to Dead Chef, City Wok, and Chinpokomon. But it’s been three years since The Stick of Truth, and there’s been some downright hilarious South Park episodes since then. There’s also so much material from the older episodes that deserve to be revisited.
We already know there’s some “fish stick”/Kanye West humor in the game, and that you shouldn’t pick a fight with Morgan Freeman. So without further ado, here’s our list of the five South Park references we’d like to see in The Fractured But Whole.
[Mature content throughout the article. Mostly in the videos. Fair warning!]
Fun fact: Casa Bonita, from the seminal South Park episode “Casa Bonita,” is a real, exceptionally subpar restaurant just outside of Denver, Colorado. The episode got almost every detail right. From the cliff divers to the sopapillas to Black Bart’s Cave – it’s all there. Each of these weird little spaces within the restaurant could serve as interesting areas for Kyle, Stan, Cartman, Kenny, and Co. to explore.
It’s not a particularly long shot for the location to appear in the game. There were a few smaller references to “Casa Bonita” scattered throughout The Stick of Truth. They included a somewhat similar location, City Wok, in the first game. And, of course, it’s one of Trey Parker’s favorite episodes of the show.
Unfortunately, there are a few obstacles for it showing up in the game. First, though South Park is amazing at circumventing legal ramifications, Casa Bonita could very well sue for use of its likeness. However, it’s important to note that they allowed South Park to use this likeness in the episode, and their popularity has increased since the episode aired. Second, it was casually destroyed by Mecha-Streisand in the episode “200.” But, then again, continuity isn’t a big deal in South Park. Lastly, South Park, Colorado is roughly 60 miles away from Denver. Still, the crew went to Canada in The Stick of Truth, so distance isn’t a major obstacle for the plot to work around. Long live Casa Bonita.
SoDoSoPa (South of Downtown South Park)
SoDoSoPa was one of the funnier jokes to come out of South Park since The Stick of Truth. It stands for South of Downtown South Park, and it’s an icon of gentrification and hipster culture. Trey Parker and Matt Stone really hit the tone of gentrified advertising in its episode “The City Part of Town.” It’s an area built on what used to be the trashier side of town where Kenny lived – well, still lives.
Rife for social commentary, SoDoSoPa includes numerous shops, restaurants, apartments, and residencies (whose balconies look over “historic Kenny’s house”). We can see this being a location for the kids to buy weapons, food, and ironic overpriced fidget spinners. Considering it’s both in the town and very recent in the series, we’ll more than likely see SoDoSoPa pop up in The Fractured But Whole.
Any other cartoon or video game wouldn’t touch Scientology or Mormonism with a 30-foot pole. But South Park would. Though two of the series’ best episodes, “Trapped in the Closet” (which was nominated for an Emmy) and “All About Mormons,” poked fun at these two religions, neither were given much spotlight in The Stick of Truth. Meanwhile, Christianity got a hilarious mini-game nod where the player had to “find Jesus,” who of course was playing hide and seek in the church pews.
Yes, religion is a touchy subject. But that just makes it more likely for Parker and Stone to bring it up in The Fractured But Whole. At one point or another, South Park’s lampooned virtually every major religion and belief system. Heck, they even went off on Atheism during the two episode ark “Go God Go” and “Go God Go XII” (which, coincidentally, heavily involved the release of the then-new Nintendo Wii). There could, again, be legal reasons to not bring religion into the game. The Church of Scientology in particular wasn’t too happy about South Park’s past interpretation. But come on – they’re already going to make fun of Kanye West’s dead mother. Nothing’s off limits.
The Spirit of Christmas
Ah yes, the episode of South Park that started it all. Also, it wasn’t an episode, it was a short. Also also, it wasn’t a short, it was two shorts – one released in 1992 and one in 1995. The first, referred to as “Jesus vs. Frosty,” was made while Trey Parker and Matt Stone were attending the University of Colorado. The second, “Jesus vs. Santa,” was made off a $1,000 budget. Both have hilariously horrible animation – even by South Park’s standards. Here, just have a look.
[Again, lots of bad language. Not safe for work. Or family. Or Jesus, apparently].
In The Stick of Truth, the kids went to the simple land of Canada. Being so simple, it was all composed in 8-bit graphics and sound. It was a hilarious, simple, out-of-left-field joke they completely committed to. They could do something similar with the two The Spirit of Christmas shorts. Snowdrop, Ubisoft’s engine that runs the game, is extremely versatile. It powers The Division, Mario + Rabbids, and The Fractured but Whole, and it could easily be used to downgrade the already simple style of South Park into looking like the extremely outdated shorts. Throw a tub of vaseline on top, lower the frame rate to two FPS, and you have yourself The Spirit of Christmas! An entire Christmas themed section could also incorporate Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo, which, let’s be honest, is absolutely necessary for the game’s survival.
Does Ubisoft have the money to acquire the rights to the hundreds of cultural references that inhabit the Imagination Land trilogy of episodes from South Park? No, but neither did Comedy Central, so why not just go for it? It’s got Freddy Kruger, Aslan the Lion, Luke Skywalker, Popeye, Count Chocula, Ronald McDonald, and literally every other imaginary character that’s got a copyright. That’s a lot to love, and a lot of potential legal ramifications. But just do it for the fans.
Imagination Land would make for an exceptionally entertaining final world for the kids to explore. After all, they’re already wearing superhero themed costumes, why not just bring that into the fray as well? Bring in Captain America, Spiderman, and Wonder Woman, and just wait for Warner Brothers and Disney to call their lawyers. They can literally do whatever they want with Imagination Land. Let the team go crazy and make an unforgettable conclusion to The Fractured But Whole.
And there you have it! Our five picks for South Park references we’d love to see in The Fractured But Whole. Are you mad we didn’t bring up Towelie? Wish we talked more about the PC Principal? Then make yourself heard in the comments! And for all your gaming news, reviews, and more, keep an eye on The Game Fanatics.