Finding Yeezus is a new documentary series focused on solving the mystery of Kanye Quest 3030, an unlicensed RPG that’s hiding a secret ending – leading some to believe it was part of a cult recruitment drive.
Starting September 26, it is broadcast weekly on grouse house (a web channel created by Australian comedy group Aunty Donna), the show is hosted by comedians Alexei Toliopoulos and Cameron James. in their own Finding Drago and Finding Despair On the podcast, the couple previously dived into mysteries about the unauthorized Rocky sequels and missing record-breaking films, but this would be the first time they’d tackled a gaming topic.
“There is something so exciting about a video game puzzle, it feels so nervous,” Tulliopoulos told me via email. “In the world of video games, it feels less like trying to look back and more like discovering an urban legend that is taking shape right now.”
It’s a legend that started nearly a decade ago. Tulliopoulos explains how he and James discovered the mystery, and what led them to solve it:
It was uploaded to the internet almost anonymously in 2013, 3030 , It was a simple Pokemon style RPG where you play as Kanye West in battle with other famous rappers. With a sense of humor and hypothesis, it has become a kind of viral sensation. Then he disappeared as these things do… that was until two years later, a hidden level in the game.
“If you prove you’re worthy (by solving a few enigmatic puzzles), the game admits that everything you’ve been through” up to that point has been on top. With the promise of “rise”, the game reaches you in real life. This to him led many to believe that the game was a recruiting tool for a New Age cult called Ascension. It’s a great puzzle! I remember playing the game years ago, but didn’t figure out the puzzle until the end of 2020 when we had just finished making Finding Desperado and was starting to feel the itch to challenge ourselves with something bigger to unpack.”
It quickly became a much bigger mystery than the pair’s previous work – and thus their evolution from investigative podcasting to on-screen hosts. The effort seems to have been worth it – there have been many investigations into Kanye Quest over the years, but Toliopoulos and James opened the first episode by saying that the mystery hasn’t really been solved – yet.
“The true story of Kanye Quest and the Cult of Ascension will be revealed in the final episode of Finding Yeezus,” Tulliopoulos told me. “We’ve been good investigators from our early days as dropouts from journalism degrees.”
But the key to finding Yeezus and previous podcasts from the hosts is that they are as comedy as they are investigation. Toliopoulos and James tend to pick puzzles from the more ridiculous and weirder side of things, but they make it clear that the comedy on the show is based on real investigation – you don’t see them building something to laugh at the answers:
“We are obsessed researchers and unveiling the story is a truly organic process,” Tulliopoulos explains. “For us, it’s all about the joy of discovering and finding the emotional connection that fuels curiosity. With documentaries, you have to plan a lot before you start shooting, but the excitement comes from the surprise that the end product is almost completely different from what we expected. Real life is hard to predict! It’s It’s all about finding the narrative in reality and for us, it’s also about building into the comedy.”
Having watched the first two episodes myself, Finding Yeezus actually proved to be as funny as it is intriguing, with a higher RPM than I realistically expected. There’s real fun behind that too – in the culture of documentaries that often reveal the darkest parts of modern life, it’s nice to find something that just wants to enjoy how weird and intriguing people are. At least…for now.
Finding Yeezus begins exclusively in Grouse House YouTube channel Next Monday, September 26th. There will be six episodes in total, dropping weekly on Mondays until the end on Tuesday, October 25th.
Joe Scripps is the executive news editor at IGN. He thinks Finding Drago is very likely the best podcast ever made, and you should listen to it. follow him Twitter.