Marlow Briggs EP5: Marlow Briggs and the Heavy Thing That Needs to be Over There

By Shamus Posted Thursday Aug 7, 2014

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 87 comments

Link (YouTube)

At the six minute mark Rutskarn mentions Skallagrim, who is a YouTube guy who shares his weapon knowledge and generally scoffs at the often absurd excesses of Hollywood weapon-making. He’s good, although I just want to throw my weight behind LindyBeige as someone who is fun to watch and seems to have an inordinate number of archaic pointy things lying about. (The linked video is him talking about scythes, which seems relevant to our discussion here.)

And for those who missed our earlier episodes, the seemingly errant pronunciation of Marlow’s weapon is deliberate. I’ve decided that a scythe is a tool for cutting grass, and and sKythe is that ridiculous contraption that Marlow is using. They’re just spelled the same because of an ancient Mayan curse or something.

I really wish we had the archaeologist with us. I would drag her through this madhouse and just DARE her to explain this stuff. “Well, see you had to bring a sKythe here and jam one end into this socket in order to open a door. Which would also split the scythe into two really inconvenient sword things. It was an intelligence test. Anyone stupid enough to attempt to wield the resulting pieces as weapons was clearly too dense to be useful and therefore should be put out of the village or eaten.”


From The Archives:

87 thoughts on “Marlow Briggs EP5: Marlow Briggs and the Heavy Thing That Needs to be Over There

  1. MrGuy says:

    I have ridden the mighty moonworm!!!

  2. MichaelGC says:

    Well, I doubt I’ll ever see another middlebrow Let’s Play video where the question: “How did you do that?” is actually a paraphrase of the question: “How did you not do that?”

    Not even formal logic can withstand MARLOW BRIGGS.

  3. MrGuy says:

    Also, am I the only one who is sad that no one told Josh “Move the thing! And….the other thing!” during that last sequence?

    *looks around*

    Probably. :(

  4. IFS says:

    So will Marlow Briggs ever receive outro music/credits? Because I’d really like to see them for it.

    1. Chris says:

      Inside baseball: Josh *just* upgraded his copy of Premiere this week for these episodes, so this is sort of a test run of the new software before we kick off a “real” spoiler warning season. It’s totally up to him as to whether he does full intros/outros eventually? But this week’s episodes are sparse-ish ’cause they’re almost a proof-it-still-works more than anything.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        A new editing software?Does that mean he will finally edit that episode of left 4 dead?

        1. 4th Dimension says:

          Yes, just after he finishes his Shogun: TW let’s play, and passes on his CK turn. Which should be about . . . never

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            No,no,not never.Just in time for him to play half life 3 live.

  5. TMTVL says:

    Huh, Skal and Lloyd, huh? Only Matt (scholagladiatoria) left and we have the three most (arguably) famous guys who talk about medieval weapons.

    1. Torsten says:

      I was going to mention him also. Of the three Matt from Scholagladiatoria is the most professional, in that he studies and teaches historical martial arts. But they are all good at talking about real issues with historical weapons, and at bashing Hollywood martial arts.

      1. Mathias says:

        And all three are super useful references for medieval fencing techniques, holy shit.

        There’s also a guy on YouTube who occasionally uploads videos solely dedicated to Viking-style sword and shield fighting too, and he is magnificent. I’ll see if I can dig up the video.

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Great,now we have to wait 24 hours to find out where Josh needs to put the heavy thing.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The thing about scythes is that they are not present in video games.What we see here,and in other games that feature “scythes” is actually a halberd with a weird blade.

    1. Humanoid says:

      Although the icon for said item may or may not be a scythe, regardless of the actual ingame model.

    2. ET says:

      This actually looks pretty much like a scythe to me. I mean, it’s got the blade at around 90 degrees to the long handle, with a mini-handle at a different 90 degrees, for comfort of swinging. Sure, most scythes had metal blades, and didn’t have more than a single blade, but this still looks reasonable to me.

      1. Vindarten says:

        I think he maybe means an actual war scythe (the kind people would actually use to fight with) which has the blade reattached so it points straight out from the pole. Also Dark Souls had a war scythe (and it was the only kind in Demon’s Souls).

        1. Bubble181 says:

          Diablo II has both versons.

  8. Gruhunchously says:

    What’s better than riding around on a giant scorpion? Riding around on a giant scorpion that’s ON FIRE!

  9. lucky7 says:

    Damn! I wish I was your larva!

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      When the blood
      Is blowing in your face
      And the army of mooks
      Is on your case
      A bug could offer you
      A warm embrace
      To make you feel my larva

  10. Ofermod says:

    A macuahuitl would be the weapon that Josh & Co. were talking about that they had instead of swords.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      (Comment deleted by Shamus on request.)

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Shamus,why are you no longer deleting comments that requested deletion?

        1. Shamus says:

          Sorry. How it used to work is that deleting your comment would put it in the mod queue and then send me an email letting me know to delete it. For some reason, WordPress has stopped doing the email thing.

          This means there is no way for me to tell a deleted comment from one of the many, many comments that are wrongfully marked as spam. I have no idea how to fix this yet.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Good to know though.Now I can edit them into “DELTETE PLEASE” before requesting deletion.Would that help?

            1. Shamus says:

              Yes. Well, it’ll help YOU at least. :)

    2. Loonshia says:

      It’s always jolly interesting to find out what other cultures (especially when they didn’t really use metal) did for weaponry.

      1. ET says:

        The one universal thing among pretty much every culture throughout history, is our inventiveness in how we kill each other. :P

  11. syal says:

    Marlow Briggs and the Joke of Displacement.

  12. BeamSplashX says:

    A grub from the hive
    Tries to survive
    It’s also grows into a bug
    Always floppin’ ’round viney parts
    Until Briggs
    Splits them
    In half

  13. Chamomile says:

    Those sword doohickies that the skythe splits into are called tonfas. Except that real tonfas aren’t bladed, because they are defensive weapons and you’re wasting your effort hammering out a blade when that blade is immediately going to become chipped and dull by constantly being used to block attacks. The idea behind a tonfa is that you absorb blows with them and then counter-attack either with an elbow strike or backfist or else swing the tonfa in your hand so that long part sticks forward and you can thrust it into the guy. Bladed tonfas could be used to shank someone with this kind of attack, but then the enemy could make you shank yourself just by slamming your tonfa hard enough that the tip gets thrust back into you.

    1. TMTVL says:

      It’s the BloodRayne type of tonfa.

      At least I think, based on the promotional artwork, I haven’t had the, ahem, “pleasure” of playing a BloodRayne game yet. Nor do I think I ever will.

    2. ET says:

      Dull tip, only the outward-facing edge is sharp enough to slash? Best weapon evar? :P

  14. Tony Kebell says:

    I love The Scorpion King, how DARE YOU!

  15. lucky7 says:

    The bugs are out of context
    in this shoddy old Mayan complex.
    Marlo wants a doorkey
    so that he’ll be done visiting.
    *where I am*
    Marlo is finally seeing,
    why this place is so worth leaving…

  16. Chris says:

    I know I’m totally biased but I love it when I get the titular line in a Spoiler Warning episode.

    1. Benjamin Hilton says:

      And people wonder why commenters always rush to get the first post. It’s kinda the same feeling.

      1. Humanoid says:

        I get stage fright when I’m about to make the first comment, so I tend to dawdle a bit and wait for someone else to do it before I post mine.

    2. Henson says:

      I admit, I got a little giddy when one of my posts was featured on the front of the site as part of Shamus’s “spam filtering is bull” post. We all want to bask in the light of TwentySided. Now take your communion wafer.

      1. guy says:

        I got my rambling about indoctrinated Salarians instead of Cerberus mentioned on a spoiler warning episode.

        1. Trix2000 says:

          I got a death blamed on me!

  17. Benjamin Hilton says:

    I was waiting for someone to complain of sickness from the camera zoom in Josh’s preferred method of bug stomping.

  18. Paul Spooner says:

    No no, see, it’s the Indefenestrable because there are no windows to throw things out of!

    1. Benjamin Hilton says:

      Oh those tricksy Bastards.

  19. Paul Spooner says:

    Hey Chris! You should use your deadpan delivery of “maggots aside” as a finisher whenever you’re damning with faint praise. Really nails the lid down on the coffin.

  20. Paul Spooner says:

    Ahah! The real reason for the reduction in content finally comes out. You’ve been binge-watching LindyBeige haven’t you?

    1. Shamus says:

      Would that be a LindyBinge?

      But yeah. I’ve pretty much consumed all of his archives in the past couple of weeks.

      1. Thearpox says:

        I watched that video of his on scythes and I really didn’t like it, as the guy is objectively wrong on several accounts.

        The most important thing in the video is really the comments section, where helpful people point out that the example of a scythe he is using is actually a modern scythe.

        For starters, the steel was not as thin in medieval times.

        Then, I question stuff like the curvature. Are you telling me all the medieval scythes looked the same? If there was one thing prevalent in that age, is to have dozens of variations on every concept. Hell, I HAD a straight scythe on my Dacha. And once again, the guy is only handling a modern scythe.

        Third, cheaply modified scythes really were used in combat, as a polearm. Seriously, the comment section on that video is awesome and lists several examples of that.

        The guy really has a habit of listing historically debatable things as objective truth, and using a single way of swinging (or anything) as definitive of all attempts, in effect simplifying the issue.

        Skallagrim, on the other hand, looks like he knows what he’s talking about.

        1. The Rocketeer says:

          I’m pretty sure the skythe has stone blades, anyway.

          1. Humanoid says:

            It also needs to be kept in mind that a Mesoamerican skythe would not be used for wheat, but rather for native staples such as corn, potatoes, chocolate, and sacrificed humans. Sometimes all at once, hence the multiple blades.

            I also imagine a scythe made by Gillette would look like that.

            1. Zerotime says:

              That would also explain the tweezers. And the hoof pick.

          2. Paul Spooner says:

            Yeah, they’re huge thick slabs of knapped obsidian. Absolutely brilliantly stupid in every way.
            Just like the rest of the game.

        2. I do wonder about his standards of criticism at times. He takes D&D to task for a module where the dungeon design “doesn’t make sense” for a number of real-world reasons and goes into detail about them.

          All the while, he misses the point that this is a world where wizards can create stone walls instantly at a certain level, wishes exist, and people who make dungeons, tombs, and castles can also be out of their minds, undead, or both.

          1. Humanoid says:

            Sure, but even in heavily magical worlds, it adds verisimilitude to have huts built by peasants have constructions that make sense in the context of them being made by non-magical peasants.

            1. Which is a feature of the game: You don’t have to use the materials provided (like maps and adventures), but you can substitute your own or even real-world castles.

              This is also something he fails to mention.

              He’s a very binary fellow.

              1. BruceR says:

                All the global warming denial stuff really doesn’t help his credibility either, I’m afraid.

                1. He’s a walking example of the “I know a lot about my chosen fields of study, ergo I know a lot about everything.” Like how a physicist or engineer can assume that human behavior would follow the same or similar rules to a machine or atomic particles, etc.

        3. silver Harloe says:

          “Are you telling me all the medieval scythes looked the same? If there was one thing prevalent in that age, is to have dozens of variations on every concept.”

          Quoted for truth. And agreed.
          It’s almost like every smithed item was hand-made by someone, and there were hundreds if not thousands of such someones who couldn’t really communicate with each other.

          (*) attempt at deadpan humor. what can I say, I grew up on Brit Coms on PBS

      2. Paul Spooner says:

        Hey-oh! Can’t believe I missed that one.

        I know what it’s like because I did the exact same thing. The guy may not be right all the time, but he’s got a rare and valuable air of bracing honesty about him.

      3. Wide And Nerdy says:

        Once again you have steered me right with a recommendation. Thank you. I’m always looking for more fodder to help me avoid thinking about my life.

  21. 2:33, Shamus: “Is this the Temple of Apshai?”

    New rule for the drinking game! When Shamus references a game that’s so incredibly ancient that no one else even knows he’s talking about a video game… Shamus takes a drink to drown his sorrows. :)

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      And everyone who gets the reference,takes two drinks to drown their sorrows.

    2. Shamus says:

      I am in favor of this.


  22. I’m now thoroughly convinced this game knows exactly what it is and knows exactly what it is doing.

  23. Unhidden says:

    About the vomiting avatar Rutskarn wanted in a video game: That one exists.

    The game is called “Prey”. It’s a FPS about a cherokee warrior battleing aliens. Yes, that’s a thing.

    The vomiting comes in once you get to areas where you can dick around with the gravity controls of the alien craft you’re in. The character starts to comment that he’s going to be sick, and shortly after vomits violently.

    The game itself is actually quite fun, and has a non-silent protagonist.

    1. Dirigible says:

      That got released? Last I heard about it was it being the game second-deepest into development hell after Duke Nukem Forever.

      1. Jabrwock says:

        I remember your first foray around the alien ship. You see someone on a platform, strapped down. And there’s a button. Naturally, you push it!

        The guy promptly gets vaporized or crushed or something, and your character stumbles and says something like “what have I done?”

        1. Unhidden says:

          I liked the game especially because of it’s very dark sense of humor and the heavily sarcastic protagonist.

          In my opinion, they kept the character’s comments at exactly the right pace to not get annoying.

          I mean, at the very start you can walk around the bar in the reservation and get used to the controls. You can flip switches, turning lights on and off and you can go to the bathroom looking at your reflection.

          If you go into the womans toilet, which is a dirty mess, he comments: “Sugar and spice, eh?”

      2. Unhidden says:

        Yeah, that goes for the planned sequel as well. Prey was released in 2006, btw.

        Fun fact. The 2k Page does not seem to mention that game, at all. It has basically vanished. The only place i would be able to buy it from these days besides e-bay, would be the amazon marketplace it seems.

  24. Nicholas Hayes says:

    Damn, that’s a hell of a cliffhanger

  25. GiantRaven says:

    Darksiders is actually pretty fun to play. I went into it expecting to hate it but its more enjoyable than I anticipated it would be. A shame about the terrible visual design and story really.

    1. HeroOfHyla says:

      I tried the second one, and it felt to me like someone played Zelda and learned all the wrong lessons from it. Plus RPG style stats and gear tend to put me off in action games.

      I’m considering giving it another shot, though.

    2. Dovius says:

      Honestly, I enjoyed the visual design and story of Darksiders.

      Although I also really like stuff like Warhammer 40k, so when I see this massive Horseman with a bionic arm, overdesigned armor, growly voice, annoying sidekick and wielding an 8 foot sword called ‘Chaoseater’ (Which is introduced to the player by the main character’s bosses, a set of sentient godlike rocks with faces, in a way that is played entirely straight), I just roll with it and wonder how he’s gonna stab people with it.

      1. GiantRaven says:

        When you phrase it like that, I feel like looking at things in a much more positive light. I do prefer simpler, cleaner designs though.

  26. Dave B. says:

    “We should do a Rifftrax of The Scorpion King” – Josh


    1. Wide And Nerdy says:

      That might be interesting. From what little I’ve seen of third party Riffs, they generally try to copy the MST3k style and it comes off as just that, a copy.

      Spoiler Warning, if you do this, I dare you to do it differently. I dare you to do it your way.

  27. Phantos says:

    Dark Souls II for the next Spoiler Warning season.

    I am not even close to kidding or trolling, I seriously want that to happen.

    1. 4th Dimension says:

      So do we all at least DS 1 since more people played that.
      But the biggest problem there is that only Josh played that game in the main cast, which is really bad. If more of them had played it, the better way would be to let the newbie play, so we can expirience true Dark Souls and the other people can chip in with advice when he gets stuck.
      But that has been done too.

    2. Trix2000 says:

      You have to consider the type of game Dark Souls (1 or 2) is combined with the way Spoiler Warning tends to go, though. I could see the run devolving quickly as Josh fails multiple times on something (might even be an easy part) and the rest of the cast just losing enthusiasm.

  28. Eschatos says:

    I feel like if the gameplay was like 30% better, this would be an excellent game.

  29. Hey Chris, you could try a non-English pronunciation of Scythe.
    In Norway for example it’s called: Ljà¥
    Which is pronounced similar to the English word: Yaw
    Nobody can fault you as you are not saying it wrong, yet you will still be able to annoy them. A win win.

    Oh and FIY, I’ve actually used a Ljॠ(Scythe) to cut hay when I was young, it’s backbreaking work, the blade is rotated somewhat which means you have to cut low while you swing, then there is the amount of straw you catch, too much (or if the blade is not sharp enough) and your arm get yanked back as if suddenly somebody pulled on your arm with a rope. And you sharpened it with a small wetstone that you had to spit on, which you usually carried with you as sometimes you would hit the dirt instead of the straws so it became unsharp very quickly.

    The way Josh The Fireman (sounds like a male stripper doesn’t it?) has been swinging it around it must be duller than a butterknife by now, talk about a blunt instrument.

  30. SlothfulCobra says:

    Personally, I get most of my historical military trivia from the A/T threads on the Something Awful forums. A lot of the Goons there are actual historical scholars, and you get to hear both sides of controversial historical issues, unlike when Lindybeige gets in an argument, and you just hear his side.

    One of my favorite parts was where they spent a bunch of pages arguing whether or not horses will ever charge into a wall of pikes.

  31. Hmm. You know, the broken in two/dual sword thing now… One of them has double blades.

    Do I forsee another sword morphing, maybe maybe into something like this?
    The Glaive in Krull

    1. Asimech says:

      I’m hoping for a double flail-thing where the two blades are hanging from the stick by two super-stretchy ropes.

  32. AndrewS says:

    Can the Indefenestrable really have been destroyed without Briggs creating a giant magical window to steer it through? I feel so cheated.

  33. shiroax says:

    So now I’m wikiwalking Lindybeige’s channel. Thanks Shamus. Not sarcasm. But where did my hour go?

  34. Mathnygard says:

    Must be my fondness for insects that makes me say this, but Rutskarn’s song, there? That was a beautiful, beautiful work of art. If my phone wasn’t a decade old I would find a way to set that as my ringtone.

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