Angry Video Game Nerd Wiki

Garfield - Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN)

The Nerd: Today, we're talking Garfield, YEAH! And since this is the December episode, you might be wondering: "Is there anything Christmas about it?" Yeah. There is. I'm wearing a Santa hat.


The Nerd: Back in the day, there used to be this roll of paper that came to your house. It was called a newspaper, yeah. It had a bunch of news and sports crap in it, but there was also... comics. Every day, as a kid, I would dig out that comic section and go straight to Garfield. It was my favorite, and all it was, was a cat. A cynical, sarcastic cat who speaks only in thought clouds, who likes to sleep, eat lasagna, and beat up his owner, Jon, and his dog, Odie.

The Nerd: Nevertheless, there was something about it that hooked me, and I collected many of those books that archived all the old Garfield strips. Part of the appeal was from being a cat owner. There was a relatability factor. Never before had I seen a comic that made fun of how cats can't make up their mind if they wanna go out the door. Or, how they plan out their jumps across furniture. It's a comic about what your cat is thinking. What goes on inside their little minds? That is, until Garfield evolved into a more generic character.

The Nerd: Another thing I loved was the slapstick. There was so much chaos and destruction. It often involved food being splattered or someone being whacked in the head. Everyone remembers Odie getting a lot of abuse, but Jon would get totally messed up! He's falling on his face, getting burped through the door. Sometimes, it happens in a combo. A pie to the face, his pants get ripped off, and then he's kicked over. These type of exaggerated cartoon physics were new to me at the time. Even though it was just a drawing on a page, I could see it moving. Garfield is what taught me how to draw movement. And I gotta mention, Jon's facial expressions are so funny.

The Nerd: But, I think one of the biggest appeals of the character is Garfield's fuck-all attitude. He doesn't give a shit. He's the king of laziness, especially when they gave him that monotone voice for the animated show. That set the way for how Garfield talks. While I was a big fan of both the show and the strip, eventually, like most things, it became repetitive and predictable. Just think, there's been a Garfield comic every day since 1978. By now, you wouldn't think Garfield would still be such a big deal anymore.

The Nerd: But, the Internet has given Garfield a whole new life. There's so many fan works and spoofs, it would be impossible to count. There's a Garfield randomizer that mixes panels from different Garfield strips, there's Silent Garfield that removes Garfield's thought clouds, and then there's Garfield Minus Garfield, which removes Garfield altogether, making Jon into a much crazier character than he already was! (laughs) It's hilarious! Then, there's The Square Root of Minus Garfield. It never ends.

The Nerd: There's all kinds of theories like trying to explain whatever happened to Odie's original owner, Lyman, who was only in the early comics. The theory goes, he was murdered or captured by Jon, and there actually exists a Flash game called Garfield's Scary Scavenger Hunt with an Easter egg showing Lyman chained up in the basement! I didn't know that Garfield had such deep LORE! What IS IT with Garfield?! Why has it infiltrated our imagination so much? Is there any core meaning? Well, perhaps, some of the video games might hold some clues to the secrets of the stupid cat's enduring popularity. Or not.

Garfield (Atari 2600)[]

The Nerd: You wanna know how many Garfield games there are? No, you really don't. There's too many. And they've been making them since the days of Atari 2600. What you see here is a prototype, developed during the video game crash of '83. It was cancelled, but not lost...unfortunately. There's not much to do but hop across a fence while avoiding potted plants. Next thing, you're on a rooftop. Oh, look, Odie's in the chimney, like Santa!

The Nerd: There's our Christmas reference! How do ya like that? Merry fucking Christmas! HAPPY GODDAMN HOLIDAYS! AND WHILE YOU'RE AT IT, HAPPY NEW YEAR! HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! HAPPY ARBOR DAY! HAPPY WORLD MOSQUITO DAY! And, happy birthday, Brian.

The Nerd: Anyway, you encounter this gray hanging creature, who I think is supposed to be Nermal. Next thing, you're in the universe of Odies, eating burgers, and that's about it. It's a 30-second unfinished Atari game.

A Week of Garfield (Famicom)[]

The Nerd: There were tons and tons of Garfield computer games in the '80s. But, when it comes to consoles, there was a Famicom version. It was called A Week of Garfield. Somehow, it never made it to the NES. In some cases, that's a shame, because there's a lot of good games that only came out in Japan. Is this one of those? it the other kind?

The Nerd: The title screen is promising. It at least looks like Garfield and Odie. And then, Odie runs away, and Garfield says, "Where are you going, Odie?" He's quitting...already. That's a bad sign. Level 1: you're walkin' through Jon's ugly house with tasteless wall colors, and randomly placed tables, and ca- (Garfield dies in-game) W-what happened? I'm dead?! That was fast! Anyway, the goal of the game, I think, is that you're tryin' to find Odie... (Garfield dies in-game a second time) I'm dead again?! (Garfield dies a third time) Ugh! (Garfield dies a fourth time) Uuuugh! Okay, this already sucks! Now, there's a spider in my way. Oh, great, it mimics your movement. Wh-what was that?! Did Garfield just turn into a 4-legged cat all of a sudden? Yes, actually, that's how you crouch in the game, and it's true, Garfield used to walk on four legs in the early comics. But, in the game, it switches back and forth. Every position, whether jumping or whatever, all look like totally different Garfields.

The Nerd: The attack, you gotta be kidding me. That's all you get?! Just a wimpy, little kick?! At first, I couldn't even tell if I was attacking or not. The range is so short, it doesn't go outside Garfield's own hitbox! You gotta get the powerups. You can throw bones, what look like bombs, and a spread gun. Heh, a spread gun. Do you remember the comic when that happened, where Garfield fired a spread gun at a bunch of frogs and mice? The enemies make no sense. How did Jon let all these frogs in his house? Remember that one strip, where Liz came over and he was like, "Aw shit, I got all these frogs jumpin' around!"? Heh, oh, that Jon!

The Nerd: Then, you got all these green alien bug things, and gray mice. (Garfield dies) That mouse just kicked my ass! Drained my health in a second! Damn, knocked me in the air! These mice don't fuck around. When you reach the end of the stage, if you reach the end of the stage, you come to a locked door. Let me guess, you gotta find a key. Ugh, alright, I'm gonna go back. Wait, you can't go back! Does that mean I'm fucked? Oh, now I'm just jumpin' around like an idiot! I don't know what you're supposed to do. I guess that means I can stop playing!

The Nerd: Ugh, never mind, I found the key. You trigger it by jumping in a specific spot. What's the point of that? Who puts a key right in front of the door? And this happens on every level. Why even have a locked door if the key is always right there? You're gonna find it, even if you have to touch every spot on the screen imaginable. It adds nothing to the game, except wasted time.

The Nerd: At the end of the level, Jon will say something. It's always just one sentence. "What happened?" I don't know, you wanna tell me what happened? "May I help you?" Yeah, you could give me some powerups or a health upgrade or just some tips. Nope, just puts me back in the game, okay. "What can I do for you?" I don't know, Jon. What can you do for me? What have you done so far? Nothing! You're a waste! ‘’YOU'RE A USELESS PIECE OF SHIT!’’ "Let's challenge." Challenge? What challenge? Hasn't this whole thing been a challenge? "Still looking for Odie?" Oh right, yeah, that's the goal, um, because that's what you were asking, not that you, uh, had any advice or anything! You just wanted to know! Well yeah, I am still looking...asswipe!

The Nerd: Garfield would've given up long ago. Why would he ever be looking for Odie? Garfield would be glad to get rid of him. Garfield wouldn't even get out of bed, except to eat. Maybe if that were the goal, if he's trying to find a massive treasure trove of lasagna, that would at least make sense! 'Cause cats love lasagna! No, never made sense. This game is work, a lot of work, something Garfield would never do. All the levels are pretty much the exact same thing. You just move to the right and get bombarded by hordes of enemies, too many enemies, waaay too many enemies. Damn birds! Duck and j- (Garfield dies) OHHHH!!! Okay, duck down, alright, n- (Garfield dies) OH! The fuckin' mouse! Alright, I know the mouse is coming, and jump! (Garfield dies) ERGH, HUNGH! Shoot 'em, shoot 'em, shoot 'em! (Garfield dies) OHHHH!!! Duck under the birds, jump over the mouse! (Garfield dies) AGH! Haah!!!

The Nerd: The big problem is that the game doesn't start with much health, and any time you find more health, it only adds a tiny sliver to the health bar. That's all you get?! You gotta be kidding me! There's no post-hit invincibility either! Any enemy can drain all your health in a flash. You know, I happened to notice that if you scramble the words, "Garfield Odie", you can get "Fragile Die". Just wanted to point that out!

The Nerd: Wait 'til you get to the bosses. They're near impossible. It's funny that they use such obscure Garfield characters. That right there is Fluffy Ned. No, I'm just kidding, it's nobody! Don't you wish you had more health? Well, just play the level over again and don't get hit so much. Don't you wish you had more ammo? Well, play the level again, trying to save your ammo while not getting hit! Don't you wish you were playing a different game? Well, take the fucker out and throw it in the dumpster!

The Nerd: I like that the restaurant says, "Foods, Foods, Foods". Also, is it just me, or does the music sound like Get Back by The Beatles? Another thing, that spider in the tree reminds me of Jekyll & Hyde, the way it drops down and blocks your way, but at least here, the weapons actually work.

The Nerd: Anyway, I'm at the last level now! Wish me luck. Oh, hi, Odie! Uh, bye, Odie. I guess you just walk past him. Uh-oh, this is it! Purple cat boss! Yes, a purple cat throwing knives is the final boss of a Garfield game, and he's hard as shit. Aw, fuck! MMM! (Garfield dies) AW! (Garfield dies) FUCK! (Garfield dies) AHHH!!! I just gotta hit him with the bombs! Hit him with the bombs! Hit him, hit him, hit him! C'MON, C'MON, C'MON! I did it! I did it! I beat him! Now, I just gotta find the key, and it's all over. Alright, where's the key? Wh-wha? (Time Over screen shows on-screen) What happened? What?! Time limit?! There's a fucking time limit?! I can't believe there's a time limit! So, not only do you have to get to the boss with optimal ammo and health, but you also have to do it fast as fuck! Well, I'm not doin' that... just one more time.

The Nerd: Alright, I'm gonna get him this time. Oh, down to the wire, got 10 seconds left. Oh boy, oh boy! Is this possible? Is it? Five, four, three, two...oh, there is no key this time. What?! You saw that, right? I beat the boss, and made it through the door! How much farther did I need to go? It's not even worth it... just one more time. I swear, all I need is just one more second. Alright, motherfucker, c'mon, yes! Five, four, three, two, one! WHAT?! NO!

The Nerd: Just one more time. Okay, that was as fast as I could go. Twelve seconds left. Oh boy, ten seconds. Oh, okay, okay, here we go! FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE! I DID IT! HA, HA! HAHAHAHA!!! "Congratulations, boys." "It was easy." Yeah, sure, it was. "See you again!" I hope not!

The Nerd: Well, there you have it, the Famicom classic, A Week of Garfield! A week off my life expectancy! This isn't Garfield, it's more like BARFIELD! This is one of the worst 8-bit shitfests I've ever played! I'm glad it didn't come out in the US, and I'd be even more glad if I never even knew it existed!

(The Nerd sticks up his middle finger at the A Week of Garfield cartridge and throws it down on the couch. He sticks up both his middle fingers at it and then punches it.)

Garfield: Caught in the Act (Sega Genesis)[]

The Nerd: I don't think you could top that shit, but let's take a quick look at another Garfield game on the Sega Genesis. It's called Garfield: Caught in the Act. Caught in the act...doing what? Never mind. The plot is that Garfield gets sucked into the TV. Yeah, that old cliché that's been done over and over, most notably in the AVGN game. So now, Garfield is platform-jumping through a bunch of movie genres. A classic horror stage, a pirate stage, prehistoric, Egyptian, and even a film-noir stage called "Catsablanca". Man, I miss the '90s where it was still commonplace to reference movies from the '40s. Nowadays, if you make a Casablanca reference, the kids won't know what the fuck you're talking about.

The Nerd: At first glance, this is what you want. It actually looks like Garfield, the animation is nice, but just try playing, I dare you. Try playing for 10 minutes, and you'll see. It's not what it seems. It's like chocolate-covered diarrhea. You think it's a side-scroller, but no, it's a sideways, up and down, left and right, up and down, fall back, do it again, left and right, left and right. Who would've thought a Garfield game would be this confusing to navigate? Even when you figure out where you're supposed to go, a big part of the trick is not getting hit or missing a jump! If you fall down, you gotta do it all over again! Or, if you fall in the water, it takes you back, just like the sewers in Ninja Turtles. Garfield wouldn't have the patience for all this, so why should I?

The Nerd: I even encountered a glitch. In the prehistoric stage, after beating the boss, a reptilian Odie, the game soft-locked. Nothing happened. So, I had to reset the rotten thing and start over from the beginning of the whole game. I would ask, did they even test this shitty game out? But, the answer is yes. According to the end credits, there were 2 lead testers, 4 assistant lead testers, and 14 regular testers! There's no way!

The Nerd: On top of the regular levels, there's a stage made up of TV circuits that acts as the main hub. This is where the final boss lies, and you'll never guess what this boss is. It's, um...uh...this. What the hell is that thing? It looks like a robot velociraptor with a bowtie and plugs for hands. It doesn't even look like it belongs in the same game! It looks like something you'd see in Vectorman, or something. How did this thing get in here?! It would be like playing Super Mario World, and all of a sudden, Sabrewulf shows up.

The Nerd: So, I beat 2 Garfield games, and am I proud of it? No. I think they should've ended with the Egyptian level. That was already a worthy pain-in-the-ass final boss. It's a giant statue of a pharaoh with the face of...Jon, I think. It's funny to think of Jon as some kind of high ruler, or a king, or a god. I mean, he does own a cat and pharaohs owned cats as protection against snakes and shit. In ancient Egypt, cats were regarded with high importance. They were depicted on the walls of tombs, sometimes even being mummified with their owners. This is rather profound, because Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, will undoubtedly be remembered for Garfield for all eternity. In a sense, he will take his cat to the grave, just like the ancient pharaohs.

The Nerd: The pharaoh in the game is Jon, but does anybody remember who Jon actually is? Go back to the very first Garfield comic. He's a cartoonist. Jon is Jim Davis. And perhaps, Jim Davis is no mortal man. Maybe, he's a reincarnation of an ancient deity, a god! It makes perfect sense! Why else would everybody else be worshipping Garfield after all these years? And, if you scramble the name, Jim Davis, you can get Diva Jism. That's disgusting, I apologize. One more game!

Garfield Labyrinth (Game Boy)[]

The Nerd: Just to throw out one more shit nugget for ya, there's a Game Boy game called Garfield Labyrinth. It's a maze game which is essentially a remake of Solomon's Key, which is one of the all-time great puzzle games as an arcade and NES port. This version basically replaces Solomon with Garfield, and gives him some weird weapon to destroy blocks with. What is that thing? Some appendage on his body? I know what that is. It...never mind, enough dirty jokes. It turns out this game is based on yet another game called P.P. Hammer and His Pneumatic Weapon. P.P. Hammer?! Yes, it's true. This cat has a dick.

The Nerd: Yeah, that was kind of a Ghostbusters reference. Speaking of Ghostbusters, check this out. You're not gonna believe this. This game...was actually...a Ghostbusters game. You're thinkin', "Oh, come on, now," but I'm not kidding. Look, compare them side-by-side. Same games, only the sprites swapped. The Garfield game is the PAL version, while the North American version is The Real Ghostbusters. Yeah, not just any Ghostbusters, The Real Ghostbusters, the animated series with the voice of Lorenzo Music as Peter Venkman, same guy who voiced Garfield, and as we all know, there's one other character in this universe who happened to play both those characters as the voice of Garfield in the live-action films, and as Peter Venkman in the live-action Ghostbusters. Of course, we're talkin' about Bill Murray. In fact, there's that scene in Zombieland, you know, when the whole movie hits the brakes and becomes a Ghostbusters parody. What is the other movie that Bill Murray references in that scene?

(Cut to scene from Zombieland)

Little Rock: Do you have any regrets?

Bill Murray: Garfield, maybe.

(Cut back to the Nerd)

The Nerd: What is it with Garfield and Ghostbusters? Why are these two separate franchises so closely linked together? Anyway, about the game, you might be wondering what it was originally called in Japan. Was it Ghostbusters or Garfield? It was neither. IT WAS MICKEY MOUSE IV!

The Nerd: Fuckin' hell, Mickey...Mouse...IV. Can you think of any other games, any other media in the history of civilization that went from Mickey Mouse to Garfield to Ghostbusters? I don't know how this came to be, BUT IT SORTA PIQUES YOUR CURIOSITY, DOESN'T IT?

The Nerd: But, hang on, if this is Mickey Mouse IV, then what about Mickey Mouse III? Well, um, the game that was known in Japan on Famicom as Mickey Mouse III was known on NES as Kid Klown in Night Mayor World. Yeah, you know, Garfield, Ghostbusters, Kid Klown, all that shit. But, I know what you're wondering, "What about Mickey Mouse I & II?" I wish I didn't have to answer that, because now...we're really goin' down the rabbit hole, with the emphasis on rabbit. (sighs) BUGS BUNNY'S CRAZY CASTLE ONE AND TWO!

The Nerd: Yeah, you remember back when I reviewed all those Crazy Castle games? Little did I know that in Japan, it was originally the Mickey Mouse series, not to be confused with Mickey Mousecapade. But then, Mickey Mouse III & IV branched off, and was there a Mickey Mouse V? Of course, there was a Mickey Mouse V. Meanwhile, Crazy Castle 5 became all about Woody Woodpecker. So, Mickey Mouse and the Crazy Castle series were like two timelines that temporarily crossed over, two intersecting comet tails of chronological confusion. Oh, and that's not all. The very first Crazy Castle game was on NES and Game Boy. The Japanese version of the Game Boy version was Mickey Mouse, but the Japanese version of the NES version was ROGER FUCKIN' RABBIT on the Famicom disc drive! Holy shit! Not to mention, the European version of Crazy Castle 2 was part of the Hugo series.

The Nerd: I can't take it anymore! And, of course, it all comes down to Bugs Bunny!

(The Nerd puts his head on his hand.)


(As Bugs Bunny continues to make this sound, he sits down on the couch beside the Nerd. The Nerd lifts his head up and slowly turns to look at Bugs, in shock and disgust. As Bugs continues to make this sound, he moves his arms back and forth. The Nerd looks away and back at him angrily. Bugs leans closer to the Nerd's face.)


The Nerd: (stares at Bugs for a few seconds) Are you fi-


The Nerd: You have the come here...and ask me...what's...up.?

Bugs Bunny: Yeah. (starts chewing on a carrot)

(Suspenseful music starts playing)

The Nerd: Well.

(The Nerd walks over to his Atari 5200, and retrieves a bottle of Rolling Rock beer from its upper compartment. As Bugs Bunny continues to chew his carrot, The Nerd twists opens his beer, and the bottlecap is shown hitting the floor. The Nerd takes a long swig of his beer.)

The Nerd: Doc's...gonna tell you...what's up. 'Cause the Doc... (laughs quietly) ...has got a prescription ordered specifically for you, fuckface!

Bugs Bunny: Okay, well, you're the doc, doc! Let me have it!

(The Nerd puts down his beer and clenches his fist. He raises it as Bugs raises his fist, and they give each other a fist bump. The Nerd pats Bugs on the shoulder.)

The Nerd: Happy holidays, buddy! It's good to see ya! Here, try this game out! (hands Bugs a NES controller) Yeah, check this out here! Oh man, it's been a long time! (facial expression slowly becomes angry) for A long...

(The Nerd punches Bugs in the face. Credits screen shows. Off-screen, The Nerd and Bugs are fighting.)

Bugs Bunny: (off-screen) AIN'T I A STINKER? EAT MY RABBIT HOLE!

(Sounds of defecating are heard. Cut back to the Nerd and Bugs. The Nerd punches Bugs Bunny three times in the face before giving him an uppercut, beheading Bugs in an explosion of blood. Woody Woodpecker's head emerges from the neck of Bugs.)

Woody Woodpecker: Guess who? (laughs)

The Nerd: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

(The Nerd uppercuts Woody's head, beheading him. Blood flies everywhere. Mickey Mouse's head emerges from the neck of Bugs. Mickey is laughing. The Nerd nods his head before upper-cutting and beheading Mickey in an explosion of blood. The head of Egon Spengler emerges from the neck of Bugs.)

Egon Spengler: I collect spores, molds, and fungus.

(The Nerd smiles and shakes his head. He then turns and punches Egon Spengler, beheading him with blood flying everywhere. The head of Kid Klown emerges from the neck of Bugs.)

Kid Klown: DUUUUUUUH!!!

The Nerd: (nods his head) Great!

(The Nerd punches Kid Klown's head off, blood flying everywhere. The head of Roger Rabbit emerges from the neck of Bugs.)

Roger Rabbit: P-p-please!

(The Nerd punches Roger Rabbit's head off in an explosion of blood. Garfield's head emerges from the neck of Bugs with a thought bubble that reads, "Lasagna!!!!!")

The Nerd: Nice touch!

(The Nerd punches the camera, cutting to black. Cut to credits.)