LISA: THE FIRST is a Yume-Nikki style exploration game. It was made in RPG Maker 2003 and released on October 9th, 2012. It is the predecessor to LISA: THE PAINFUL. It is an exploration of Lisa Armstrong's mind as she tries to cope with the burden of being abused by her father Marty.
It can be downloaded from RPGMaker.net.
The start of this game takes place sometime after the introduction of LISA: THE PAINFUL. The player controls the main character, Lisa Armstrong. The story follows her descent into madness, which stems from the physical and sexual abuse inflicted on her by Marty Armstrong. The goal is to obtain VHS tapes of Lisa's memories while exploring the game's various zones.
In the game's beginning sequence, Lisa is forced to remain in her room by Marty and is not allowed in any other rooms of the house. If he catches her outside her room, she is sent straight back. Her room is bare and very unclean. During the start of the game, the relationship between Lisa and Marty is unknown. The player might assume that she is his wife or daughter.
Marty is found on the lower level of his house, constantly watching television. He is surrounded by broken bottles and other garbage. Marty plays the role of Lisa's captor and abuser, holding her prisoner inside his home.
- "Did you really think that would work? I'll never leave you. You have to swallow me, get over it. "
Rick is notable for being the only character in the game apart from Marty and Lisa. His design strongly evokes the shape of a human penis, and his dialog has obvious phallic connotations. He could be Lisa's own representation of Marty's member, influenced by the rapes she endured. The player must kill him many times in order to proceed.
The game begins in Marty's house, inside Lisa's room. Lisa's room is unclean, with clothes strewn everywhere. Outside her room is a hallway leading to Marty's bedroom and downstairs. If the player examines Marty's door, Lisa will say that he always keeps it locked. Downstairs is a living room and a kitchen, as well as a TV that Marty is parked in front of. If the player navigates Lisa to the right or in front of Marty, he forces her back to her room. The first goal of the game is to escape from Marty's house, which can be achieved by heading left, behind the couch, and out the door.
As Lisa attempts to run away, she walks through a green forest, leaving Marty's dilapidated house behind. The lighting brightens and waterfalls are seen and heard in the background. As she continues, however, she steps into a dark fantasy where Marty's face is plastered all over the sky. The peaceful sounds of the forest are replaced by the hellish sounds of Marty's TV. After running along a narrow walkway covered with trash and rubbish, she again sees Marty, who asks if Lisa is running away again. The game cannot continue until the player says yes. He tells her that it is useless to try to escape. Lisa is then transported to the main hub of the game, the Lobby.
The Lobby is the main hub of Lisa: The First. It is similar to a location in Yume Nikki called the Nexus, since each door leads to a different area. There is a bed to the right, which serves as a save point. There is also a VCR to the left. To play VHS tapes here, Lisa first has to acquire them. The doors at the top lead to the following zones:
- Red Door - The Town
- Iron Ladder - The Blank Road
- Tin Door - The Mansion
- Rope - The Rope Room
- Sand Door - The Sea
- Red Ladder - The Bile Road
When entering the town, head up the rope and grab the Work Gloves from the box on the right. This will allow Lisa to move rocks out of her path. Move the top rock down twice and the left rock left once to continue. Travel north and you will see another rock puzzle. Move through it to progress.
Heading up, you will find an image of Marty in the water. It is possible to use a noclip cheat to float over the water and talk to him. If you do so, he will say "are you cheating? fuck you."
Further right, past a rock puzzle, is an image of Marty looking directly into the sun. There is also a toilet here. If the player interacts with this toilet, Lisa will vomit into it. (Note: this vomit noise is the same sound sample used in the LISA: THE PAINFUL song, Work Harder, but it is sampled higher.)
To the top right is a bar, which contains many images of Marty in varying stages of drunkenness. This area may be meant to represent Marty when he drinks regularly. Many of these drunken Martys have lewd dialogue, such as "I'd fruuck her, is she huh? ooooooh...." and "Fuck ta fuck ya..." The room to the top right is where the bartender is. He will give Lisa some Rum. Bring this to the cement house in the north end of town.
The building in the middle of the lake contains an image of Marty, hinting at the hidden path behind the cement building. Move along the left of it and head up to find the path. Follow it until its end, where you will see yet another image of Marty. He will give Lisa a Banana, and then ask "Was it worth it?" This is an obviously ambiguous question.
Once the Red Key is obtained, unlock the top right gate. This leads to the Red Basement.
Once in the Red Basement, move past the rock puzzles and speak to Marty. Give him the Banana and obtain a Banana Peel in exchange. Head down the ladder to the south and into the Mountains.
To the right is a large area in which you can find the Razor. To the north is Tricky Rick. Head right first.
Once in the cave, head down and left until you see a patch of flowers. Open the box in the center to find the Razor. Pick it up and head back upstairs.
Head up the rope and use the Razor on Slick Rick. This will open a new path to the lower left of the now-dead Rick, where a new Rick will have appeared. You will need an item from another zone to kill this Rick. There will also be a candle at the entrance to the Town from now on, which will teleport you to this new location. This allows you to quickly travel to this point from the zone entrance.
Head back to the Lobby by hitting shift and walk through the Sand Door. Walk right and speak to the Marty on the raft. Give him your Banana Peel and he will float off, leaving behind a Napkin.
Head North and cut down the reeds with your Razor. Head down the uncovered stairs and into the Spider Cave.
Heading right, you will meet a crossroads. If you head to the right, you will be transported back to the cave's entrance, so it's best to continue northward.
Heading north, you will see the game's first Marty Spider. If you touch these enemies at any time, they will move you backward, hindering your progress through the cave. This Marty Spider is rather slow, so lure him out and walk past him. Do your best to move through the spider maze. This may be challenging until you get the hang of it. For the second set, stand on the right tile of the coloured squares and, when possible, move to the safe zone on the right side. Once the second Marty Spider has gone, you can slip by.
Move down and align yourself with this tile. Walk down slowly, as you will need to avoid the Marty Spiders moving from left to right.
Head up and you will find two new spiders. One moves horizontally and the other one moves randomly. Once you reach the top, the Marty Spiders will try to move away from you in a very disjointed manner. Walk slowly towards them and allow them to run away from you. Sometimes you may need to stand near them for ten or so seconds before they take the hint. You will still get sent back if they touch you.
Head north, grab the Pills, and press shift to head back to the Lobby.
Once you are back in the Lobby, walk through the Red Door and back into the Town. Touch the candle by the entrance, walk over to Rick, and make him eat the Pills. Walk down the stairs and obtain the Sword. Press shift to head back to the Lobby.
The Rope Room
Go up the rope in The Lobby. This rope takes a few minutes to climb, and at the top is a platform. On the platform stands a statue of a middle finger. Entering this room and climbing to the top is pointless.
The Blank Road
Climb the Iron Ladder in the Lobby. At the top, head through the door behind the trail of blood. This leads to the Blank Room. While this room is not endless, it does loop in all directions. To the north is an image of Marty smiling, wearing a suit, and showing a heart when interacted with. This seems to show the side of Marty that will do anything to get what he wants. Alternately, it could represent a better time when he was kinder to Lisa. Multiple images of this type of Marty can be found here, and there is even a toilet that Lisa can use without vomiting.
Head to the bottom right area and walk through the statues. This will change the landscape and the Martys, as well as opening a staircase to the upper left. Walk down this staircase.
Head to the left and pick up the Plastic Bag. You can now return to the Lobby by hitting Shift.
The Bile Room
Once back in the Lobby, head up the Red Ladder. Once you are on top, push aside the boulders to reach the Bile Room. This room seems to explore Lisa's repulsion for Marty and his hypocritical Christianity. This area is filthy, featuring distorted, monstrous images of Marty, garbage-filled houses, and golden crosses erected in many places.
Explore the first few buildings. When you are ready, head to the top right of the map and give Marty the Napkin. He will give you the Finger in return. Head left.
Walk into the hidden entrance of the building to the northwest (shown in the image to the right). interact with the cross in the middle of the room to reveal a secret passageway. Continue down the stairs
Head down and walk through the maze of Marty Spiders. Each Spider has a pattern. Wait for the right time and walk through. For the second puzzle, push the rock over the spider Blocking the doorway to trap it. For the third puzzle, move the rocks to block only the three fast Marty spiders, then push them towards the wall. The last rock can be used to block the Marty in the doorway. Go up the stairs at the end.
You will reach a penis-shaped room. Smother Rick with the Plastic Bag to receive his VHS Tape.
Head back to the Lobby using shift and put the VHS Tape in the TV set. Walk down to Rick. He will say the following:
- "Oh hi. My name is Rick. I like exploring caves. I like friction. Oh. and I'm a sensitive guy as well. ... But you already knew that didn't you... I hope to see you soon... Don't run too far... I'll be waiting...."
You will be returned to the Lobby.
Head back to the Blank Room, walk down the Iron Ladder, and give Marty the Finger. He will give you Marty's VHS Tape. Use this VHS Tape on the TV in the Lobby. When played, the player will become Marty standing in a blank white space dotted with flowers. Heading north reveals another, happier-looking Marty with Lisa, having a pretend tea party with a tea set. This sequence reveals possibly that Marty was either kinder to Lisa in the past, or pretends to be in between his abuse. Alternatively, because the player is Marty during this sequence, it's possible this is how Marty sees himself, I.E. a "good father" despite his actions.
Walk through the third Tin Door in the Lobby and insert the Sword into the statue's crotch. This will teleport you to the Mansion. Explore the Mansion and, when you are ready, enter the double doors at the end of the southern hallway.
The room behind these doors contains a horrific vision of Marty. To continue, Lisa has to physically enter Marty from the left hand side of his body. This is symbolic of Lisa being unable to forget the moment in which she is sexually abused. The map you are teleported to is called "Inside Him." Go north and interact with yourself. You will then be teleported back to the Lobby. Pick up the Necklace.
Head to the Item Screen by hitting Escape. Once there, go down and interact with the candle. This will teleport you to what seems to be Lisa's room. Continue further.
Once you have exited the house, head straight north. Marty appears nude tell you that you're wasting your time. You will then be teleported to an infinite white room. You can obtain one of two endings here, each as futile as the other.
To obtain the normal ending, stay inside this room and let Marty speak to Lisa automatically.
- "You really don't get it do you? You really thought you could forget? Why are you trying so hard?... Accept it. You can't fight something that already happened. There is no understanding, no purpose... There is only life, and this one is yours. Accept it. I'm here to stay."
- ―Vision of Marty
This ending shows that regardless of the struggle Lisa went through, and regardless of how much she runs, Marty will always be inside her head tormenting her. No matter how far she walks, Marty's face will always resonate in her mind.
To obtain the true ending, when teleported to the white room, walk straight left to find a unnamed final VHS tape (named "Mom's VHS" in the game files). (Note, you can experience the normal ending, pick up the VHS tape, hit escape to go to the item screen, and then hit shift to go to the Lobby. This will work even after Marty has trapped you in the normal ending.) Use the VHS on the TV, and once you are in the new area, walk up.
Lisa will be confronted with a image of her mother from the back. This confirms to the player that Lisa is Marty's daughter and not his wife. Knowing this explains the sick imagery contained within her psyche. Her mother will say:
- "Lisa... is that you? Lisa I. I'm sorRy. III'mmmM soRRy... LiiiiisSSAAAAAAA..... I Did'NT waaaaaa.... NNt Too LEEEave. Liiiiiisssssaaaaa. I didddd'nt WANT to diiiEEE. Liisa, I looveEE YouU. Doooon't gooooo!! YOOu can't.... You can't run... "
As she says this, she will turn around to face Lisa, revealing that she, too, is actually an image of Marty. From this we can see that Lisa is Marty's daughter and that her Mother either left or died. This also shows that every memory she has, including her mother's face, has been invaded by Marty. Everything she thinks about and remembers has been erased and replaced with Marty's face, solidifying the fact that she can never run away from him.
- Austin Jorgensen has stated in interviews that the idea behind LISA: The First (and, later, Brad in The Painful RPG) was based on an ex-girlfriend who was scarred by memories of her abusive father, as it had made him realize how much memories can affect people.
- In the game files, spritesheet images of Lisa and Rick have sprites of Earthbound characters in them.