Marlow Briggs EP11: Marlow Briggs and the Helicopter Canyon

By Shamus Posted Thursday Aug 28, 2014

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 54 comments

Link (YouTube)

I feel like this game is invulnerable to my nitpicking. I try to fault it for the plodding mook fights or the incoherent level pacing, but then it throws a new stupid minigame at us or throws in Yet Another Gameplay Element and I’m rendered speechless. I feel like the game doesn’t even care what I think. Someone really, really wanted to make this ridiculous thing, and it never occurred to them to wonder if anyone else would like it.


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54 thoughts on “Marlow Briggs EP11: Marlow Briggs and the Helicopter Canyon

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Im shocked that Rutskarn knows of 1942.I used to play that game before he was even sloshing around in the womb.

  2. silver Harloe says:

    “Someone really, really wanted to make this ridiculous thing, and it never occurred to them to wonder if anyone else would like it.”

    That’s dangerously close to the definition of the proper attitude between an artist and art.

    1. Peter H. Coffin says:

      Can’t argue with this. I mean, this whole thing is an exercise in Bellisario’s Maxim, but its execution seems pretty exceptional. I don’t think we’ve ever heard such a high rate of “YEAH!” and “Oh I can do THAT, can I?” from Josh in other games.

  3. Gruhunchously says:

    Face it Shamus, this game was made to irritate you. Every time you try to mock some element of its story, the story itself goes ahead and mocks it for you. Every time you accuse it to adhering to some gameplay trope, it goes out of its way to slam you with a complete aversion of that very trope.
    Every time you try to take it down a peg, you just get the impression that its aware of and deliberately ignoring you, sticking its fingers in its ears.

  4. Ivellius says:

    Shamus, I can’t believe you forgot about all of the helicopters Marlow Briggs murders. It’s mooks, wildlife, and helicopters that should fear him.

    And boy is it not afraid to throw anything at the player.

    1. Cybron says:

      Those fall under “mook accessories” obviously. Mooks and mook accessories.

      1. Ivellius says:

        I feel like the helicopters are more an entity unto themselves now.

        1. Matt Downie says:

          But these helicopters explode naturally as part of their normal life-cycle. He’s not murdering them. He’s just helping them along.

          1. Cybron says:

            When they explode, they scatter helicopter seeds, thus forging the path for the next generation of helicopters. Nature sure is beautiful.

            1. Don’t forget the contribution made by mooks. They contain the other half of the chromosomes the helicopters need. Marlow kills the mooks, covering himself in their genetic material (“mook pollen,” if you will). Through combat, he transfers this material to the helicopters who, once fertilized, can happily explode, secure in the knowledge that their debris will result in a new generation of mooks and helicopters.

  5. Marlow Briggs and the Canyon of AIRWOLF!

    1. MichaelGC says:

      I haven’t watched the episode yet, but if there’s not a clunky cut whereby someone-or-other gets blown up by “hellfire” missiles not obviously originally fired in their general direction, I shall be sorely disappointed.

      This being Marlow Briggs I’m not unduly concerned…

      1. MichaelGC says:

        Edit: I’ve now watched the episode: baffled & confused ‘yes;’ disappointed definitely ‘no.’

        All that section needed was the Airwolf music! Dur dedalader dedalader dur da da da dur dur.

        Et cetera.

        1. Grudgeal says:

          I was thinking of the Tyrian theme myself.

    2. Phantos says:

      I think most games could have used a little more Ernest Borgnine.

  6. I’ve always wondered what would happen if they turned a Markov Chain generator into a game dev. Now I know.

  7. Eric says:

    Clearly, this is Frog Fractions 2.

    1. krellen says:

      Oh snap. That is totally plausible, even.

    2. Ambitious Sloth says:

      I had to do a double take at this comment, but yes I think your on to something here. It’s definitely the only game I’ve seen that shares the same genre hopping, and semi-educational subject matter of Frog Fractions.

  8. TheLurkerAbove says:

    Marlow Briggs meets Abbott and Costello meet the Mummy

  9. Traiden says:

    I love how you can run into your own missiles and get hurt by them. That really shows they paid attention to this section of the game.

  10. tzeneth says:

    I’m wondering if Josh is trolling everyone or just didn’t realize he could upgrade the hammer because if you’re going to use it, you might as well upgrade it so we don’t sit here watching the same combo even longer. Plus, more health.

    1. silver Harloe says:

      Normally, I’m all for assuming Josh is trolling, but in this case, I think he just missed the “you have enough xp to upgrade now” message because it flashed while he was busy. He’s pretty consistently hit the upgrade button every time it flashed before.

  11. Phantos says:

    “I feel like the game doesn't even care what I think. Someone really, really wanted to make this ridiculous thing, and it never occurred to them to wonder if anyone else would like it.”

    As much as I could rag on this game, I have to admit I wish more video games were made with that mindset.

    That reminds me, I need to get back to work on that JRPG about the humping robot.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Probably wanna think about some Oculus Rift support, there.

      1. Imagine Marlow Briggs with Oculus support, especially for the bug-stomping segments.

  12. lucky7 says:

    The street I grew up on had two Dunkin Donuts across from each other.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Did they have, like, a fierce but ultimately collegiate rivalry?

      1. lucky7 says:

        One of them is a deli now.

        1. Supahewok says:


          1. WHO TOOK THE LAST ONE?!

    2. Neil W says:

      There are two Thai restaurants in town. They are opposite each other.

      In a towwn ten miles up the road, Poundland (where everything costs £1) is two doors down and on the other side of the road from the 99p Shop.

      (99p shop had a recent temporary close due to failing a health inspection. Just goes to show that you shouldn’t skimp on the price.)

      1. Tizzy says:

        So the Poundland didn’t close? It goes to show: What difference a penny makes!

        1. Or as the common saying goes, “A bridge too farthing is as good as a guinea to a shilling, but never have sixpence with a groat, even if it’s consensual.”

          It might lose something in the trip across the Atlantic, but you get the idea, eh wot?

  13. HeroOfHyla says:

    Did Rutskarn make a Professor Brothers reference at 15:50? If so, awesome.

  14. guy says:

    I never want to play this game, yet I feel as though the world is made brighter by its mere existence.

  15. Thomas says:

    Campster, were you thinking of Desert Strike, Urban Strike, and Jungle Strike for the helicopter section?

    1. Joe Informatico says:

      I thought of those too, what with the weird 3/4 top-down view. Those games were a lot more strategic, though. I also remember Tiger Heli and Twin Cobra as more typical top-down bullet hell games with helicopter player avatars.

      1. Groboclown says:

        I was more thinking he meant Choplifter, Rescue Raiders, and Armor Alley.

  16. BeamSplashX says:

    “Marlow Briggs & The Child That Wants To Be A HELICOPTER PILOT?”

    “Marlow Briggs & The Insistence Upon Making Every Implement Double-Sided”

    “Marlow Briggs Teaches Typing”

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Marlow briggs & the comments on marlow briggs & the spoiler warning of derp.

      1. syal says:

        Marlow Briggs and the Camera he’s supposed to Smile For.

        1. tzeneth says:

          Marlow Briggs and the Briggs of Marlows

          1. The Briggs of Marlowson County.

  17. Daemian Lucifer says:

    By the time I managed to get to the chopper pun I winced.

  18. Neko says:

    The “helicopter arcade game” sections in Jade Empire took me by surprise too, but it was so incongruous that I wasn’t even mad.

  19. You forget Josh that Chris is from the East and has only heard of canyons through myth and legend.

    1. Tizzy says:

      Though somehow Chris is eerily familiar with valleys… and the way their girls speak.

  20. Lee says:

    I gotta say, in the game’s defense, I think part of the pacing problem is Josh’s fault. A lot of those mooks are only there because he didn’t kill the necromancer two episodes back. It’s been following him ever since. Now that he’s killed it, they won’t show up.

    That doesn’t explain the ‘here’s a mini boss, now here’s a big boss’ section, but it does explain why the big boss was immediately followed by another mini boss (the necromancer).

  21. Lord_Bryon says:

    To be fair I think the “boss fight reward is more mooks” is suppose to have you defeat the boss by taking control of him and then you get to slaughter a bunch of mooks with your new “pet”. Because Josh likes to knock the boss off as soon as he has the boss under control, you get to watch him fight the mobs the old fashion way.

    1. Clodpool says:

      That would make sense. You get rewarded for the boss fight with a new toy, then get to play with the toy.

      1. Richard says:

        Definitely this!

        I kept yelling at the screen “Play with the boss! Play with him!”. Obviously completely ignoring the fact that A) Josh can’t hear me B) I don’t even have a microphone connected and C) This all happened at least a week ago…

        The really big guy even had instructions for use flash up briefly, presumably it should be really easy to smash those three/four necromancers while ‘driving’ him.

  22. Blake says:

    I wonder if Marlow learned to fly a helicopter as part of his firefighter training.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      It would have been amazing if he used the helicopter to fly over other helicopters, and then made one of those water buckets, but instead of water, it’s made of fire, and then he could drop it on the helicopters and say something like “Who’s fighting fires now?”

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