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Here's South Park: The Fractured But Whole's origin story—for its name

It's the name the game needs, not the one Matt Stone and Trey Parker wanted ...

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

When I was 12, my best friend Richard and I rolled characters in the Marvel Super Heroes tabletop RPG, randomly assigned powers and tried to come up with a story tying them together. Richard looked at his power set and determined he would be called "The Living Dysentery." He had poison gas and body transformation: liquid, I think, so Richard postulated that he could change into a wave of shit, and chose a paralyzing power stunt that you don't want to know about.

Thirty years later, it looks like we're getting the video game equivalent: South Park: The Fractured But Whole. In a seven-minute developer diary put out for San Diego Comic-Con, series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone explain that the game's third-grade-pun title comes from the expanding power of the main character's poop chute.

The Fractured But Whole picks up where 2014's The Stick of Truth left off, and in the first game, a player's sphincter had a variety of offensive and defensive applications. Now it gets a lot stronger. Of course, that could lead to ruptures — in the space time continuum, that is — which led to the name. Butt (snicker) this one was not the title the creative pair originally wanted.

The rest is not just b-roll of developers at conference tables or wearing headphones and working earnestly. There's more footage from within the game, including teases of the character's origin process and how combat has changed, which includes a square-movement feature somewhat like XCOM's.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole launches Dec. 6 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. The Stick of Truth is included as a free download but it doesn't appear that there is any continuity between gamesaves in that game and the new one; the connection is merely narrative, and the player moves on to designing a new costume.

The next level of puzzles.

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