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1001 Video Games

Grim Fandango appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cut dialogue

Originally, Manny could find out the entire conspiracy in a conversation with Domino in Year Three. The audio files shipped with the game, but the dialogue tree was cut.


  • In the hallway of the DOD there is a picture of a boat. If you look at in Manny says "Not that I have a choice, but I wonder if I would be happier working on a ship. Then again I'm so competitive I wouldn't be able to rest until I was Captain." At the end of year two on the ship he is just the cleaner, and then a year later he is the captain.
  • The main character in this game is a skeleton, take a look at the side of the box and you'll see a different LucasArts logo. The usual golden figure who raises his arms (towards the sun?) is replaced by a skeleton.


  • The game's hero is Manny Calavera. Calaveras are actually those skeleton-dolls, which the majority of the characters in this game are.
  • One of the characters is called Olivia Ofrenda. "Ofrenda" is a Mexican celebration of the dead.
  • As in many others LucasArts games, you can find Max, from Sam & Max. Go to the tattoo parlor (in Rubacava, you must walk all the way to the right). Take a look to the poster and you will find him in the tattoo designs.
  • In year 2, there is a part of the game where you see a Blimp/Zeppelin hovering in the air above the Cat Tracks... As you cross the bridge under it, a short melody plays which is part of the opening theme to Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe... and older World War 2 flightsim from Lucasarts (or Lucasfilm Games as it was known back then)
  • Including the references mentioned below, the game's characters have many similarities to actual Day of the Dead objects. There is, for example, Don Copal - Copal is a festive resin from tropical trees often burned in special bowls on graves during the Day of the Dead in Mexico.
  • You soon end up working for an underground organisation called the L.S.A., or the Lost Souls Alliance. As stated in the manual Grim Fandango is steeped in references to Aztec and Mayan culture and art (as well as Mexican folklore and film noir of the 1930's, 40's and 50's). LSA (for short) is the psychoactive ingredient of 'Ololiuqui' - the Aztec name for the seeds of certain plants that have been used and held sacred by the Aztecs for many years. This may or may not be intentional but trivia nonetheless!
  • The game contains a reference to Frank Herbert's sci-fi cult novel Dune. At the end of the 4th year, when Salvador bites down on a fake tooth, releasing a cloud of poison that kills both him and his victim, he alludes to an almost identical event in Dune.

Budget & Sales

The budget was a whopping 3 million dollars but the sales didn't live up to that investment. As of 2004, Grim Fandango is the only game that didn't make LucasArts a profit.

Saving screen

As you progress through the game, more of the design over the save screen will show.


The game was originally going to be named Deeds of the Dead but the management at LucasArts didn't want a reference to death in the title.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 1999 (Issue #177) – Best Adventure Game of the Year (together with Sanitarium)
    • January 2001 (Issue #199) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
    • March 2001 (Issue #200) - #7 Best Game Of All Time
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #87 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2000 - #41 in the "All-Time Top 50 Games" poll
  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2000 - Best Adventure in 1999
  • PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 11/2005 - #2 Game Which Absolutely Needs A Sequel
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1999 – Best Adventure in 1998
Information also contributed by Adam Baratz, Emepol, James Isaac. PCGamer77, Roedie, Scott Monster, SDfish, Tom Murphy, WildKard, Unicorn Lynx and Zack Green

Contributed by Swordmaster (142) on Jun 26, 2000. [revised by : 5 other people]. -- edit trivia