A Geekster’s Paradise Part 4: On Hungarian Phrase Books

I couldn’t believe my luck at finding the original Wing Commander Tiger’s Claw, and the Robosport install sheet.

But sometimes, just sometimes, when you stare into the wormhole, the wormhole totally makes eye contact then talks to its friend for a sec then makes eye contact again and then you are all “crap does that mean I should talk to it or what?” then it talks to the friend again then totally gives you a full-on stare and you are all like “ok I will make my move” and you head to it, but then the wormhole completely acts like it never looked at you at all and you panic and stammer,

“There’s…uh…hey.  How…I mean…uh…can you…isn’t it…uh…wow who knew Mrs. Kintzeg would be the dance chaperone.”

Then you realize the wormhole’s friend is totally giving you the adoring eyes hey, wow she’s hot and it’s an 80’s teen comedy and you realize you liked her all along.

Yeah, that’s when I discovered this:


Now, you have to remember, I’m old.  I’m like, really old.  My age from first digit added with the second equals 10.  FOR ONLY THE THIRD TIME IN MY LIFE. And despite my deep, deep steeping in where this book came from, I totally was all “wtf is this” and opened it and realized I liked her all along:


Monty Python’s Flying Circus for the PC was an outstanding bridge from a comedy troupe to a PC game.  Back then, the bar for achieving such a crossover that worked was lower, because the amount of people you had to spend in resources to create An Incredible Game Experience (TM) was lower than the amount of people you had to dedicate to Make Something The Fans Will Love (TM).  Today, it’s pretty much the inverse.  If I wanted to create Big Bang Theory: The Game, I would have to spend so much money on the game part that the humor of the original source would get diluted.

In this case, the game chose to specialize on a particular facet of the Monty Python universe: Terry Gilliam’s animation. This was a platformer set entirely in the world of the show’s animation. Even the copy protection was integrated into the show, as you had to choose between types of cheese from the phrase book.

You ended up controlling D.P. Gumby through levels containing all manner of Pythonesque obstacles (Think parrots. Vikings. One (or more) Spanish Inquisitions, and thank god, Spam) all in the Gilliam style, which translated surprisingly well to the 256 palette of MS-DOS based VGA games.

The best part was at the end of each level you threw up what you collected into a huge pit (note, those words have never been typed together.) If you did ok you got a part of your mind in reward.  And in bonus rounds (featuring the ministry of pointless arguments) you could lower your score significantly.

Oh, did I mention that in this game, the lower your score, the better?  You start out at 1 billion points and count down.

When I opened that phrase book and was stupidly going “what is this?” I both failed and scored in geekdom.

Then Lady in Red started playing, I saw it for what it was, and we slow danced. And I totally rocked the “take her arm part” at the opening with the “ask her to dance” part.

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