Older readers and Kanye West fans (however many of you are left) might remember that in 2013 a game called Kanye Quest 3030 blew up for a minute. Then, two years later, it blew up all over again after a bizarre hidden area was discovered in the game, one laced with all kinds of apparent links to ARGs and cults.
If you’ve never seen the game, it was basically:
In 2013, a humble little (unofficial) JRPG called Kanye Quest made a splash online thanks in large part to its novel premise. Basically, on his way to take out the trash, fictional Kanye somehow travels through a wormhole into the future. Yeah, really. In this future, Kanye gets sucked into a prophecy that involves clones, Tupac, and all sorts of other rap figures like Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre—all of which Kanye can duke it out with via turn-based rap battle.
Our second story wasn’t so innocent, as it focused on a secret area of Kanye Quest 3030 that could be unlocked, and which referenced “Ascensionism,” a cult focused on the idea that our consciousness could be uploaded online and live forever, long after our mortal bodies had rotted away.
The secret area—which we called at the time a “disturbing secret”—was extremely weird, featuring references that smashed through the fourth wall and seemed to be directly targeting players with messages from, and about, the cult.
What made it especially notorious online, though, were the layers of mystery surrounding the game and its messaging. Nobody knew who made it, nobody knew when the secret stage had been developed and, most importantly, nobody knew what any of the cult stuff actually meant. Into that vacuum poured all kinds of conspiracy theories, ranging from the game being an ARG for Jupiter Ascending to it having been developed by Kanye himself.
Years later, with these mysteries still unsolved—even after several prominent YouTube series have tried and failed—comedians and “pop culture detectives” Cameron James and Alexei Toliopoulos have attempted to decisively uncover the truth behind the game, its cult messaging, and just who, exactly, made the whole thing. They’ve documented their journey in a six-part video series (helped out by the Aunty Donna team) that just wrapped up, and which given its humour, twists and turns (which I’m not going to spoil here, but holy shit), I cannot recommend highly enough: