In RPG Lisa, a Balloon Can Save Your Life

Near the start of RPG Lisa, you encounter something unusual: a single balloon tied around a rock. While a balloon may not be all that peculiar on its own, it’s a strange sight in the world of Lisa, which is dark, hellish, and generally balloon-free (they do have chickens, though).

If you take the time to look closer, you’ll discover the balloon has a purpose. Without it, you might accidentally wander off a cliff, bringing your life to an untimely end.

Lisa the RPG

The balloon seemed bit odd, but since Lisa is tremendously odd, I didn’t think much about it at all. Even after I stupidly stepped off a cliff and met my death, I assumed it was a throwaway gag, something there to make players chuckle. But according to the oh-so-reliable denizens of the Internet, the balloon’s origin story is a little more complex.

One of the first sites to review Lisa was RockPaperShotgun, and the reviewer absolutely hated it. He thought that the controls were unmanageable, that the battles needed more exploration, and that the introduction was overly long. But his chief complaint involved the game’s cliffs. He claimed to have meandered off their edges not once, not twice, but four times. He played through the intro over and over again, never surviving long enough to see a save point.

Lisa the RPG

His complaints struck me as unusually harsh, almost bizarrely so. The controls haven’t given me any issues, the combat was easy to pick up, and in spite of a few falling incidents, death-by-cliff hasn’t been hard to avoid.

Of course, I didn’t pick up the game until a few  weeks after its initial release. Since then, the creator has added in several new features, like new enemies, a new ending, and a beautiful, life-saving balloon.

I can’t prove that the balloon exists because of that review. Googling “Lisa RPG balloon” only brings up the review in question, and the Lisa Twitter account is curiously devoid of balloon-related anecdotes. The only real evidence I have is in the RockPaperShotgun comments section, which does seem to suggest that the balloon was added as a response.

Lisa the RPG

We may never know the truth of Lisa‘s mysterious balloon, but I know what I choose to believe. Each time I walk toward my death and back away just in time, I’ll have that balloon — and a bad review — to thank.

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