I wanna be the guy

I wanna be the guy: The Movie: The Game is a freeware videogame first released in 2007 by and has been under constant development since. The game is an adventure platform game and is a throwback to the 8 bit era of videogaming, with similar mechanics to MegaMan. It is best known for it's incredible difficulty, unorthodox level design and humour.


The player takes on the role of "The Kid" who is on a mission to become "The Guy". The rest of the plot is given in a rather cryptic message (similar to that of Zelda) during the opening credits, a parody of bad Japanese translations and broken English in early NES games.

In the year 200x on his 15th birthday... a child left home on his dangerous and epic quest to become The Guy! Many years ago, "The Guy" left world and retreat to "Dungeon of Doom". Now "Young Boy" goes to defeat "The Guy" and become "The Guy" with his gun pass handed down by former "Grandfather the Guy". Go find the "8 units". Now become "The Guy"

No other plot is revealed to the player until the end of the game. It soon becomes apparent however, that the player must defeat several bosses before they can finally meet "The Guy".


I wanna be the guy is made up of several stages split up into several screens, which are usually pastiches of well known NES games like Tetris, Ghosts N Goblins, Zelda and Metroid. At the end of each stage is an oversized boss who must be defeated before progressing any further. These bosses are generally rather humourous hybrids of old characters such as Mike Tyson, Dracula and Mother Brain. The soundtrack is a veritable smorgasbord of videogame music from the annals of gaming history.

Players control "The Kid" through these levels armed with only a small pistol, a cape and on the lowest difficulty, a cute pink ribbon. Controls are basic, "The Kid" can move left and right, jump, double jump and shoot his gun. Luckily, he is highly maneuverable and responsive in the air, crucial for many of the puzzles and challenges ahead. There are save points littered throughout the game which players must shoot to operate, but they become few and far between at greater difficulty levels.

The thing that sets I wanna be the guy apart from numerous Super Mario Bros. clones is the incredible challenge facing those who dare play the game. Not only is the gun completely useless save for bosses and the odd zombie, anything and anywhere can kill "The Kid" with one hit. Apart from obvious dangers such as the ubiquitous spike, a range of objects will splatter "The Kid" to smithereens such as giant cherries, tombstones and lightning bolts without warning. Many features are completely hidden from the player until launched into deadly effect, making it nigh on impossible to predict what paths to take on screens. To make matters worse for the player, many levels require fast reflexes, pixel perfect landings and a not too small amount of luck. It is not unknown for a beginner to rack up over a thousand deaths on the "Death Counter" before even reaching the first boss.


Despite its insane difficulty, and being a relatively new freeware game, I wanna be the guy has already attracted a cult online following through its early development. Many people have put this down to the vicious nature of the game and the almost hypnotic trance of repeating the same procedure over and over again until finally being victorious. A series of youtube videos catalogue one gamer's attempts at a run through and possibly mirror many people's experiences of becoming "The Guy".
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