Marlow Briggs EP2:
Marlow Briggs and the OH GOD THE SPINNING

By Shamus
on Jul 17, 2014
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

CAUTION: This episode is basically 20 minutes of low-FOV camera-spinning.

In the debate of “did the developers realize what they were doing?” I think I’ve come down on the side of believing that they are over-enthusiastic, wide-eyed, naive, and completely lacking in self-awareness. Because if somebody did this on purpose I owe them a spin-kick to to side of the head. Actually no. Just a regular kick. I’ve had enough spinning.

I’d also like to point out that the vehicle we see at the start of the episode isn’t as preposterous as it might seem. It’s based on a real machine, the Bagger 288, which is used to remove massive volumes of overburden (basically, useless dirt and rock sitting on top of the stuff you want) when strip-mining:

badger288a.jpg

That one doesn’t really give a good sense of scale. Here’s another:

badger288b.jpg

So it’s a real machine! Of course, it would completely defeat the purpose of the device to place it indoors. In a pool of lava. And surround it with a mine cart roller-coaster trackA ZERO FRICTION track that doesn’t slow the cart down no matter how many times it goes around the loop. Why is the track a loop again?. And guard it with helicopters. And an army of mooks.

And then we get to the ten-times-larger machine at the end of the episode and all bets are off. I’m pretty sure that thing is larger than an aircraft carrier. It’s basically a pair of mook convention centers stacked on top of each other. On wheels. On fire.

I may have to spin-kick the devs whether they meant to do this or not.

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Footnotes:

[1] A ZERO FRICTION track that doesn’t slow the cart down no matter how many times it goes around the loop. Why is the track a loop again?



A Hundred!10110 comments. Quick! Add another to see if this message changes!

From the Archives:

  1. The Rocketeer says:

    Ah yes, the machine that the Germans built to saw the Earth in half and hold the entire continent hostage. In a hilarious post-war convention oversight, they weren’t required to disarm themselves of it, and have been quietly using it for mundane purposes ever since, like Stanley the Plaid cracking walnuts with the Arkenhammer.

    Of course, we can always play out what could have been in Ace Combats 5 and 0, in which you can bomb the Fantasy German’s planet-crackers on behalf of the Fantasy Americans and the Fantasy Polish, respectively.

  2. Thearpox says:

    Sooo, Josh. Do you regret being drunk while playing it? Because you know, the spinning…

    • Benjamin Hilton says:

      Here’s the kicker: I’m currently re-watching the Tomb Raider season. I’d like to quote Shamus, Episode 12 approx. 15 minutes in:

      “This is interesting. I would have liked it better if the platforms kept moving…to continue moving and to have to do this shooting while in motion….but no, it stopped. That was less fun.”

    • Steve C says:

      How could anyone play that game sober?

  3. Izicata says:

    I was honestly considering buying this game before you got to the crane boss, then decided I’d rather not play something designed to give people motion-sickness.

  4. Tse says:

    More words that rhyme with Josh- posh, tosh.

  5. DrMcCoy says:

    Bagger, not Badger! It has nothing to do with the animal. :P

  6. Xander says:

    Nothing rhymes with “Josh”? You’re just saying that ’cause you’re sloshed.

  7. Isaac says:

    This game just keeps getting more and more awesome/stupid!

  8. Benjamin Hilton says:

    I love that the words “Target Hydraulics” are actually written on the hydraulics. So yeah either very self aware or a very low opinion of players. :p

    • lucky7 says:

      Mook: “But boss! We all know what zey are!”

      Boss: “Too bad! I want to make sure all of the people who come to our secret aircraft carrier sized ore extraction base/ archaeologist site know these are the unnecessary hydraulics to the turret we should never have to use! I’ve brought in new soldiers by the truckload and they don’t-”

      Mook: “You WHAT!?!”

      Boss: “I know! They came package dealed with the flamethrowers!”

      Mook: “*sighs*I have a Masters in Getting Beaten Up, my talents are wasted here!”

    • Hitch says:

      That’s the brand name, they’re just slightly better than Wal-Mart Hydraulics.

  9. Rick says:

    I assume Josh missed something, and was doing the turret section wrong. I HAVE to assume Josh missed something, for my own sanity.

  10. WILL says:

    Pretty sure the Mayan terminology is accurate. Kinich Ahau is the god of the sun, Xibalba is the underworld. Although Ex Chuah Ik is no the sacred warrior but apparentely a god of merchants?

    Anyway it’s close enough.

    • Corpital says:

      Erutus Profiteur, Merchant of Death!

    • Janus says:

      Ek Chuah would be the God of merchants, travellers/wayfarers – aaaand chocolate (well, the cacao-plant).
      So… Yeah, got holy warrior written all over it.
      Also the Scythe is apparently the “Fangs of Kukulkan”. Kukulkan (aka Kucumatz), simplifying it, being the Mayan variant of Quetzalcoatl (plumed serpent). Kukulkan was one of the creator gods, taught humans agriculture & is associated with the elements, the circle of life & death and maize…
      So it too fits the holy warrior scythe of hyperdeath perfectly – they really did their homework beyond a single google search. Very impressive.

      In the same vein: Xibalba is an underworld (one of nine) – as in home of demon-like critters & death gods. Not as in place everyone goes when dead.
      Kinich Ahau, as a sun god, has a lot more to do with the calendars & again the circle of life & death, than with “raining fire from the heavens”.
      So their research stretched probably no further than cool sounding names – which is still something, I guess.

      edit:
      please bear in mind – “Mayans” is an umbrella term for many distinct peoples, with a history covering millenia. Everything here is a ridiculous over-generalization and your experience may vary

  11. lucky7 says:

    On Car Talk, there was a Cevin (Kevin with a C)

  12. Tizzy says:

    More… I need more. I cannot get tired of watching this game.

  13. Aanok says:

    Marlow Briggs is basically the Italian Spiderman of videogames.

  14. Corpital says:

    This game reminds me that I still need to finish Darksiders. Maybe it’s the scythe.

    I wonder, what happened to Indefenistrable 1 and 2. Were they not big enough? Maybe they sold one to the Enclave for Fallout3 Broken Steel.

    Oh and if you want to see a game ‘made’ by Uwe Boll, take a look at Tunnel Rats. I had the misfortune to witness a blind playthrough and it was a miserable brown bore, quite the opposite of this colorful madness here.

  15. Macfeast says:

    So, what other courses does Mook Academy offer? Limited Vision 101? Loot-Rules Advanced? And what does the course-literature look like? “Lack Of Identity And You: How To Function Within A Large Group Without Defined Personalities”? “It’s Probably Nothing: Why That Arrow In Your Head Can Be Safely Ignored”?

    • The Rocketeer says:

      That last one is covered by the comprehensive code of mook chivalry. If you take an arrow to the head, or a knife in the back, or you see someone looting your workplace, you pursue them for a period determined by your organizational guidelines, and if you’re unable to determine their location, you’re obligated to concede and return to your routine. It’s only proper.

      The amount of bearing it takes to be a mook is not to be underestimated. Lesser men would crack when the hero is obviously crouched behind them, creeping up to attack, or when arrows are clearly whizzing past their heads. And yeah, a lot of people would rather attack all at once than bide time in a loose circle. And yeah, if thirty of your buds were just fileted or burnt to ash or thrown into a ravine, you’d probably think really hard before jumping in exactly where they were just standing.

      But this is what we have mook academies for. The industry has a proud, dedicated legacy of professionalism and a redoubtable ethic of quality that lone, unlikely do-gooders everywhere can keep faith in, even if it comes down to one nameless goon with a flamethrower stolidly holding court atop a disintegrating cable car rocketing to its catastrophic end. Anything less would just be amateurish.

  16. Nidokoenig says:

    The panning cutscenes kinda remind me of the filmstrip cutscenes in Bayonetta. Those were typically used for dialogue in that game, though, not action sequences, and despite being implemented as a cost-saving measure they turned out to be a complete pain, according to Hideki Kamiya. I can definitely see it making sense to an Eastern European dev team to cut those corners, since cutscenes can be ridiculously expensive.

    But the spinning, what the fuck, the spinning, what is this I don’t even.

  17. Will Riker says:

    Yeah, this game is hilarious to watch Josh play, but I have NO desire to actually play it. I can tell from watching that while it’s hilariously ridiculous, it probably plays like shit (especially that boss. I would have been swearing and breaking controllers at something that tedious)

  18. Eric says:

    I ate before watching this episode. I regret that decision.

  19. Thomas says:

    What was his plan? Why did he get into a giant warehouse sized excavator and then attack you with helicopters? Was he actually just excavating? Someone told him that they’d found the infinite helicopters box and that the protagonist was just going to spin round and round a track in a minecart-turret for a bit, so he figured that he’d get a bit of work done before he clocked off for the day?

    And then when the protagonist ruined his quota for the day he decided to flail at him very very slowly with giant metal chains that do no damage…

    Sane developers wouldn’t have a boss fight with a giant excavator and make it so the only way the excavator was if the protagonist repeatedly and deliberately ran into a shower of larva. He could have literally just got off the cart and walked away, and then the poor mook would be just sitting their inside his giant excavator, unloved and alone.

  20. hborrgg says:

    It seems to beg the question though, why is there so much heavy-duty mining equipment and an “ore purification plant” at an archeological dig? Is the bad guy’s big plan just that he’s been using a archeological dig as a cover for mining iron ore? What next, “Bwahahaha! don’t you see? The remains of this lost civilization are going to make for excellent potting soil! I’ll be rich!”

    @10:24
    What is wrong with your hand!

    • They must be a division of COBRA or Cerberus, in that the equipment they’ve apparently purchased to defeat the hero can’t possibly be worth more than any gain they could get out of the endeavor itself.

    • Jason-L says:

      Wild guess… the mining operation came first, uncovered some archaeological remains and proceeded to call in a team to investigate?

    • Tom says:

      The way it often happens in real life (so, in other words, probably the total opposite of whatever the heck happened in this wacked-out game) is that the mining or construction work happens first, then accidentally uncovers some old bones or something, then they call in archaeologists and have to shut down operations until the site’s been adequately investigated, with a resulting loss in revenue until the dig is finished.

      Since putting the Indefenistrable 3 on standby for as much as a single minute would clearly instantly bankrupt whoever owned it and probably also their whole country and the ones next to it, that presumably wasn’t an option.

  21. Thomas says:

    People who have played this game, is there an option to listen to the audio logs whilst moving about?

  22. hborrgg says:

    For the record, Chris is correct. “Indefenistrable” would indeed mean “can’t be thrown out a window”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defenestration

  23. Isy says:

    Someone start playing Dead of Alive: You Spin Me Right Round.

    In fairness to archaeologist chick assuming you’re alive, you are blowing up everything behind her in a pretty visible fireball.

  24. Henson says:

    You know, when I first saw those giant signs indicating “MOLTEN ORE FACILITY”, I thought the game was doing a neat Splinter Cell: Conviction thing of showing mission objectives and location information projected onto nearby surfaces. Which only made it that much more ridiculous when I realized it was actually labeled that way in-universe.

  25. The “cutscenes” tell me someone was really impressed with the endings to Dishonored and Metro: Last Light.

  26. BeardedDork says:

    Two things

    1)Indefenistrable is me new very favorite adjective in the whole wide world now.
    2)I would donate to kickstart the Mook Academy game where you actually play a mook in training.

  27. “Why is this track a loop again?”

    Shamus, I don’t think you realize what you’ve got here. You’re witnessing the first known God of War action-adventure game whose setting and maps were first created in Minecraft.

    Really, it makes so much more sense that way.

  28. Jonathan says:

    Wait, no obligatory youtube link for the Bagger 288?
    It’s totally great.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azEvfD4C6ow

  29. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wait,you can actually lose health in that huge crane boss section?Huh,I didnt know that.

  30. brashieel says:

    I was laughing so hard I cried for like half this episode. The utterly insane gameplay and the reactions to it were hilarious. This needs to be a mini-season just for comic relief value.

  31. Grudgeal says:

    All the spinning this episode is giving me a head-ache.

    To say nothing of the insane pacing.

  32. Disc says:

    Alternatively the whole team was on drugs. Or they just decided to make the most insane thing they could.

  33. Jarenth says:

    I’m going to choose to believe that Mook Academy is actually the Taskmaster Institute and you can’t stop me.

    Bonus: this would open the way for a Marlow Briggs / Deadpool crossover.

  34. Peter H. Coffin says:

    More fun. Bucket wheel excavator vs 32-ton bulldozer. spoiler: the bulldozer doesn’t win.

    http://acidcow.com/pics/8389-bucket-wheel-excavator-vs-caterpilla-d8r-dozer-19.html

  35. Daemian Lucifer says:

    After all these video and pictures about the hugeness that is the excavator,I have just one question:

    Where the hell are the giant mechas?Damn it japan,you had robots for years now,why arent you building giant mechas?

  36. Eric says:

    I am going to go with the answer that “the developers took this game less seriously than the Spoiler Warning cast” and that the ridiculousness of it is 110% intentional.

  37. RTBones says:

    ERMAHGERD!

    What, exactly, was that?

  38. RCN says:

    Marlow Briggs: Black Dude ALWAYS Dies First… AND Last

    Marlow Briggs: Mexican God of War Bootleg

    Marlow Briggs: Because Regular Scythes are for Suckers

    Marlow Briggs: And the Mook Academy of Doom

    Marlow Briggs: Against the Indefenistrable THREE

    Marlow Briggs: The Rock’s Blackness and Andre The Giant’s HANDS

    Marlow Briggs: Because Dual Scythes are ALSO for Suckers

    Marlow Briggs: And his Girlfriend, Dora the Explorer All Grown Up

    I could make these all day. The part I like the most is the dual (triple) scythe. A dual scythe with opposing blades gives absolutely no advantage over the extra weight and imbalance. In fact, the only thing it offers is the possibility to mutilate, maim or stab yourself in the flank with every strike. If at least it had both blades facing the same way, it could be excused. As in, at least it wouldn’t be as horribly awful as a scythe with dual opposing blades.

  39. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    Man, I go away for a few days and this happens…

    I come here from SFDebris, where Logan’s Run was just reviewed -and I think a comparison is relevant: both Logan’s Run and Flash Gordon are campy films. Both recognize the camp. Both embrace the camp. But where Flash Gordon embraces the camp in a sincere way -we can believe Ming the Merciless really is that way -Logan’s Run broadcasts “the purpose of this camp is to show you naked people.”

    Marlow Briggs is the latter -except “the purpose of this camp is to show you explosions. In marvelous 3D. With 360 degree coverage. Repeatedly.”

    I don’t actually mind. Of course, unlike SFDebris, I liked both Logan’s Run and Flash Gordon.

    Finally -it occurs to me: exotic weapons, evil demigods, magic-like powers, jungle terrain -how much more powerful would Marlow be is he were left-handed.

  40. Aerik says:

    Point of order:

    Mayans are from Mesoamerica, specifically the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, along with Guatemala and Belize. It’s the Incas that are from the Andes in South America.

    –Archaeology Aerik ;)

  41. RyanMakesGames says:

    A game where you build and run a “Mook Academy” in the style of Sim Theme Park could be pretty fun.

    Evil Corporations and Supervillians from all over the world would order mooks, and you would have to train em up and ship em out to them before they inevitably got taken down by some hero.

    Maybe the goal would be to train mooks good enough to defend the client for as long as possible, but if the villain takes over/blows up the world, then the game ends. The mooks need to be just good enough to slow the hero down, and not actually prevent him from stopping the villain.

    I think I want to make this game now.

  42. djshire says:

    To Campster and Mumbles: Turn down for what?

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