Marlow Briggs EP3: Marlow Briggs and the Refinery of DOOM

By Shamus Posted Friday Jul 18, 2014

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 75 comments

Link (YouTube)

Well, that was certainly three episodes of Spoiler Warning playing a videogame about a mask that makes a fireman come back from the dead to rescue an archaeologist from the world’s #1 consumer of orange helicopters.

I’m not kidding when I say that Strong Bad as a streamer should be a thing:


It’s an awesome way to cheaply produce an hour of content. Matt just needs to play a stupid game and free-associate on it in his Strong Bad voice. There are real people who make their actual living doing this who aren’t half as funny or interesting as Strong Bad.

Also, the Chapman brothers really need to do a Patreon. This is not a joke. This is a serious thing I’m saying. If a loser like me can bring in $1,400 a month writing text about his shortcomings as a programmer, then the creators of Homestar ought to be able to make ten times that. At least.

Also, I feel an opportunity was missed by not naming this game Marlow Briggs and the Whatever of Bullshit Thing. Maybe they’re saving that for the sequel.


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75 thoughts on “Marlow Briggs EP3: Marlow Briggs and the Refinery of DOOM

  1. Drexer says:

    As a still regular viewer and not so regular commenter anymore, I just came here to thank Josh for the Bionicle reference. I can’t stop laughing at the idea of Marlow stuffing his face full of Kanohi masks like a TF2 player and their hats.

    1. James Porter says:

      I know right? Thats like the last reference I expected. Crash Bandacoot maybe. Also it wouldn’t happen, but Bionicle masks for tf2 sounds pretty cool actually

  2. Will Riker says:

    I would watch the SHIT out of Strong Bad let’s plays.

    1. ET says:

      Co-host Strong Sad would occasionally do an episode, moping and commenting on the artistic and educational merit of games.

      1. DIN aDN says:

        And once in a very rare while, Homestar would stop by to co-opt the channel and do lets-plays of such memorable video games as My Home Office Package 2001: System Bundled Edition and fdisk

    2. Blake says:

      I really would be the greatest thing ever.

      1. Nixitur says:

        You already are the greatest thing ever.

  3. Thearpox says:

    1). I wish you guys payed more attention to the evil guy when he speaks. His lines are absolute gold.

    2). This needs to be a recurring special, like with Half-Life 2. Because I really want to see the entire playthrough.

    3). Why would the employees have to walk all the way? Obviously they take the defenestrate helicopters.

    4). Whatever you guys say, the stop-motion cutscenes are awesome. And I’d certainly choose them over normal cutscenes any day.

    1. James says:

      the evil guys VA also did Covetous Shen from Diablo, was in blade runner and other things. hell hes been in 350 things in his career

      1. krellen says:

        It saddens me that “the guy was Lo Pan” isn’t the first thing everyone thinks when they hear or see him.

        1. Humanoid says:

          Have to admit my first reaction is “hey, it’s Cassandra’s dad”.

          1. Scratch says:

            Ha! My first thought was, “Hey, that’s Hong Shi from Alpha Protocol.” My second thought was, “Oh yeah, wasn’t he also the Chinese ambassador in the West Wing?”

        2. Starkos says:

          Lo Pan was definitely the first thing on my mind! I love that movie!

        3. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

          Eye guy from Bladerunner was my first association, followed by “the butler guy” from Chinatown.

          I had a noir stage, obvs.

          1. krellen says:

            Just when I thought James Hong couldn’t get any cooler, he appears in his own parody video.

        4. Benjamin Hilton says:

          Apparently the mask is voiced by Steve “in every game ever” Blum.

      2. Dragmire says:

        Wow, some of the things he was in had some interesting names.

        Sky King (TV Series)
        Jimmy Ling
        – Red Tentacles (1956) … Jimmy Ling (as Jimmy Hong)

        Gotta admit, I’m kinda curious.

    2. Cybron says:

      I agree about the evil guy’s lines, some of them are hilarious. That’s what convinced me the people writing this were perfectly aware of what they were doing.

      1. Ivellius says:

        Yes, this section made it pretty clear that at least some of the designers knew perfectly well what they were doing. But it’s all played straight, which makes it much, much better.

        Spoiler Warning crew, this was a great series. I’d love to see you play through the rest of this, even if Josh has to be drunk to do it.

        1. Ithilanor says:

          (n+1)’ing the suggestion for this to be a recurring special. If nothing else, it’ll be nice filler between Skyrim and whatever the next game is.

    3. Ithilanor says:

      They’re not even stop-motion! There’s no motion!

      1. DIN aDN says:

        Oh – how good would stop-motion cutscenes be though?

        (Mr. Briggs enters the Ore Processing facility, causing Cutscene 1 to begin:)
        Cutscene 1: interior, on top of a desk. Red Balloon With Googly Eyes is talking to Wheel Of Cheese. Accompanying music is provided by piccolo and tuba.

        BALLOON: wumpa numpa hooboodoonoo umbumum

        CHEESE: Nyaaaaaaaaaaaababababababababa

        (A crumpled piece of paper rolls into frame, then gradually unfolds into a multicoloured origami flower)

        BALLOON: Hobbanobbafubbawubba; bloo! bloo!

        (Gameplay resumes)

        1. Thearpox says:

          I think you forgot random explosions happening for no reason.

      2. Thearpox says:

        Even better! Marlow Briggs doesn’t need motion! It is awesome!

        1. I think it’d be hilarious if, like the closing credits for “Police Squad!”, it quickly becomes evident that the footage hasn’t frozen, everyone has just stopped moving.

  4. WILL says:

    I wish Josh would have thrown at least one guy into a giant air fan. The game doesn’t tell you to do it but it rewards you for it.

  5. hborrgg says:

    I was trying to figure out what the plot of this game was, but it doesn’t even have a full synopsis on Wikipedia yet:

    “In Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death, a smokejumper, wielding ancient Mayan powers, must prevent an industrialist from becoming a primeval Mesoamerican deity and destroy the world.”

    Chris, Does the game really end with Marlow Briggs destroying the world?

    1. syal says:

      Well, he’s destroying the oil refinery, and oil is the lifeblood of the modern world. Political commentary???

      1. Hey now, it’s ORE they’re concerned about, and MOLTEN ore at that!

        They just want to cool oil, in so far as we can tell, which also makes about as much sense.

        And speaking of the economy, how does stuff this big run autonomously? Shouldn’t there occasionally be the odd poorly-paid guy in a blue jumpsuit looking at some gauges? We can’t even get robot cars to work under every condition yet, but city-sized rock-melting clockwork blast-boxes apparently just need someone to turn them on once and the run forever with no monitoring whatsoever.

        1. syal says:

          Ore is… the kidneys? Of the modern world?

          I’m pretty sure they keep the gauges in the helicopters, for easier access.

        2. Thomas says:

          We’ve actually see some civvy workers hanging around in some of the levels so far. For some reason this game _really_ cares about ore manufacturing.

          There’s even dialogue pointing out that, yes this is there _secondary_ ore melting room.

  6. Hydralysk says:

    After all these episodes I still can’t tell whether or not I like this game. I mean the pure batshit craziness of it all makes me love it, but the gameplay (and cutscenes) make it just look like a God of War clone without the scale and interaction that made me love that series as a teenager.

    It’s definitely given me a few laughs at least, and if it’s going for $0.99 again during the next steam sale I may need to give it a look.

  7. Jonathan says:

    Did anyone notice that the mask is voiced by Steve Bloom? Imagine, spending the entire game with Steve Bloom talking in your ear.

  8. Isaac says:

    I like the banter between the mask and Marlow

  9. I have to complement Campster. His Steve Bad impression has improved a lot since the Tomb Raider season.

  10. How did this episode end without anyone declaring this to be the Citizen Kane of video games?

  11. silver Harloe says:

    The self-awareness debate is settled (if it wasn’t already) by the boss telling the “maintenance and safety crews: you are fired. Before you leave, please make your workspace as UNSAFE as possible … Thank you for your understanding.”

    also: second episode in a row you mention him being a fireman concerned about the amount of fire.
    I think you’re reading that wrong. I’m pretty sure he’s a fireman from Fahrenheit 451. “It was a pleasure to burn.”

    1. hborrgg says:

      I get the sense that the dev team included some sincere individuals, and then some self-aware people egging them all.

      Dev 1: “So this giant mining machine of yours, I think we should call it the ‘Indefenistrable’.”

      Dev 2: “Yeah! That sounds awesome!”

      Dev 1: *snickers*

      1. We live in a time where people spell “yeah” as “yea,” and I heard a very erudite YouTuber say in his video “a shot across the bow” where “bow” was pronounced like the thing you make when you tie ribbon in a festive knot.

        If they hadn’t used that word, they probably would’ve used “IRREGARDLESS.”

        1. SKD says:

          Sorry, this is the internet, a place where accurate pronunciation, grammar, and spelling are considered optional at best. Give up and embrace the horror, I have and my psychiatrist says I am a much happier person now. :P

      2. SKD says:

        Well, to be perfectly honest, it is indefenestrable so the name is accurate.

        1. To paraphrase Archimedes, give me a big enough window and I will defenestrate the world!

    2. Ofermod says:

      That bit about making everything unsafe is, sadly, one of the very few times a game *ever* explains why there are bottomless pits and giant flame jets everywhere.

      And it’s hilarious. I love it.

    3. Akri says:

      It’s also possible that Marlow is a pyromaniac. Those guys get into firefighting pretty regularly.

      1. Loonshia says:

        Maybe he’s a Guy Montag style fireman.

    4. Thomas says:

      You can still try to make a game that’s funny and _also_ end up making a game that’s hilariously bad by accident, which is what I believe happened here.

  12. Greg says:

    For some reason this is really making me want a Spoiler Warning season for the new Shadow Warrior.

    1. somebodys_kid says:

      Yes! I totally support this idea.

  13. Frontlinecaster says:

    Guys, I hope you all know you are personally responsible for at least one more sale of this game. You should be proud of that. Or ashamed, either one really works.

  14. Dragmire says:

    You know, maybe the devs got the idea by saying, “You know all those games where you do a shit tonne of mining? Well maybe we could make a game where you constantly fight mining equipment!”

  15. Zerotime says:

    I suppose it wouldn’t be the first time a businessman’s downfall was caused by him spending all of his money on ores.

    1. MrPyro says:

      That was ore-ful

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        I could stay quiet now,ore I could join in and make an ore pun.

        Screw it,Im tapping this gold mine.

    2. Ithilanor says:

      Yeah, he spent too much time and energy working on his shaft.

  16. Akri says:

    You have to record more of this game. I need it, in a way that I have never needed anything before in my life.

    1. Gruhunchously says:

      You must MUST MUST keep doing this game in the future. And bring Rutskarn along next time.

  17. Dragomok says:


    1. Ramsus says:

      Indeed, we need more of this. And Rutskarn will only make it even… worser?

  18. Steve Online says:

    I’d greatly appreciate knowing if you intend to continue the rest of the game, because frankly, i’ve realize today both that i need to have this game in my life, and i absolutely don’t want to play it.

    So, while i’d prefer to react alongside you guys and vicariously enjoy your shock, befuddlement, spinning-induced nausea, and wonder first-hand, if this is unavailable i’ll need to go somewhere else for my fix of things exploding for no easily explainable reason.

  19. Derektheviking says:

    Ooh, ooh, I actually have an answer! To a question that kinda doesn’t matter, but I do actually like this as an example of getting some serious efficiency out of a gas turbine.

    So, why is that aircraft gas turbine there? Well, admittedly, it probably shouldn’t be oriented that way, but I’d guess it’s there for a similar reason to how I believe the A380 engines (Trent 900s) at the china clay works near St Austell are used – using the shaft power to generate electricity and then running the exhaust straight through mining slurry to dry it out. (Admittedly, I haven’t visited the Imerys plant, so there might be a heat exchanger, but I was told by someone from the site that it was straight-through)

    Shockingly, amazingly… I really think these guys at least visited some quarries and mines. It’s all made into preposterous stuff, but the basic parts are actually fairly ok.

  20. Zukhramm says:

    So that elevator is going up pretty fast and you’ve got a helicopter hovering besides it. Can helicopters really move upwards that fast?

  21. Blake says:

    “Brake Oil Cooling Facility”, well I suppose it would get quite hot next to all that indoor molten ore.

    I absolutely hope you record more of this, it is outrageous in the best possible way.

    Also you should just get Strong Bad to join the Spoiler Warning crew. Couldn’t be that hard right?

  22. Daemian Lucifer says:

    This is an amazing game,but its not the best one this year.Because shovel knight exists,and its a much better ore extracting game.

  23. Phantos says:

    Sometimes I hear an idea so ingenious, I get physically angry that it hasn’t happened yet.

    Strong Bad Let’s Plays is one of them.

  24. Andy says:

    Yes, Shamus, it’s a FERROUS wheel, because it’s made of IRON. :P

    (Seriously, though, I thought that was the joke because I was listening and not watching. That’ll learn me.)

    1. Veloxyll says:

      I am not sure if I should be glad I’m not the only one who thought of that pun.
      Or saddened that the crew didn’t.

      Also, when they introduced Tiox, I couldn’t help but think “How the heck is Titanium Oxide worth all this effort?”

      Also how has no-one noticed these Jungle Crawlers before now. They are literally half a mile wide! I am pretty sure that would show up on Google Maps.

      At least the bugs give a reason for all the armed guards. And flamethrower troops. Though their rocket launchers are the most anemic weapons EVER.

      1. Jarenth says:

        I’m pretty sure a vehicle this size would be visible from deep space.

  25. Jamas Enright says:

    So this is the Indefenstrator 3… what happened to the first 2? I somehow can only believe that they got defenstrated…

    1. DIN aDN says:

      The Indefenistrable I and II had to be retired as their on-board computer systems were dependent on an obsolescent version of Windows.

  26. BeamSplashX says:

    Marlow Briggs and the Skythe of Kaizar

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Very good! :D

  27. Darkloch says:

    First time since the Walking Dead season that I laughed out loud at a Spoiler Warning. The others were ok, but this was gold!

  28. toasthaste says:

    I figured out why the facility is so big! It’s actually a huge autonomous machine whose only goal is building itself up. It has the mining equipment, the ore smelting facilities, the brake oil cooling facility– everything you need to endlessly produce more giant robot tank facility thing.

    You waste your time running around inside this thing while it slowly mines out and devours the earth until there is nothing left but lava and explosions. The facility is the real antagonist(protagonist?) of the game!

  29. DTor says:

    The Indefenistrable refined this episode into PURE GOLD. Please do this entire game.

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