Marlow Briggs EP12: Marlow Briggs and the Marlow Briggs Fanfiction

By Shamus
on Aug 29, 2014
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

If you’re curious, here is the Errant Signal Sonic episode I was talking about.

Also, I have to admit to being a bit pedestrian and easy to please in my tastes, but I do enjoy bloom effects and ultra-saturated colorI’m a bit more conflicted on DoF (Depth of Field) which is when things in the distance get blurry. It makes for nice screenshots, but can sometimes be a little too distracting.. This might be a reaction to the ultra-brown and infra-grey color schemes of yesteryear that Chris mentioned. I just love seeing blobs of bright glowing color everywhere. I’m pretty sure that’s like, 45% of the reason I liked Bulletstorm.

I think we need to do a $100 million Kickstarter to simultaneously develop all the Marlow Briggs spinoff games Rutskarn pitched in this episode.

EDIT: This is a gift from Paul Spooner. Perfect:

marlow_briggs_box.jpg

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Footnotes:

[1] I’m a bit more conflicted on DoF (Depth of Field) which is when things in the distance get blurry. It makes for nice screenshots, but can sometimes be a little too distracting.


2020202011There are now 91 comments. Almost a hundred!

From the Archives:

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Thanks guys,all your talk about giving and receiving in a relationship made me think of marlow brigs dragging this bigass skythe uphil singing “I took a gazillion rockets for you,but you wont do the same”.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    By the way:Shamoose,the bad guy does often comment in such a ridiculous fashion.Just go over these episodes and read the subtitles,since you probably wont hear him over everything else.And the mask has some pretty funny comments as well.

    Josh,the bosses end up having so little health because when the prompt to take them over appears,you keep on mashing their faces,bringing them further down.

    • Cybron says:

      Long’s dialogue is all great. Some of the Mask’s stuff is pretty funny too. Marlow’s pretty bland but he’s usually just playing straight man to the Mask, which can be funny.

      It’s a shame they probably missed it, that’s one of my favorite parts of this so far.

    • RejjeN says:

      That plus I’m pretty sure he presses the button to finish them off himself most of the time :P

  3. TMTVL says:

    I kinda see what Chris means about the Sonic levels, though I only really know about Sonic 3 and Sonic Generations, so it might be more pronounced in the Heroes series or so.

  4. Thearpox says:

    “Also, I have to admit to being a bit pedestrian and easy to please in my tastes, but I do enjoy bloom effects and ultra-saturated color”

    When I play games, I always turn off all Bloom, Motion Blur, Depth of Field, those stupid sun rays that always blind me, and all the other shit that does the opposite of improving graphics.

    And just in case someone says that it makes the games more cinematic, Depth of Field was in my top 3 reasons why I almost completely stopped watching TV. Yes, I know it’s a camera limitation. But I just can’t stop raging whenever it happens. It’s like the director is punching me in the face and saying “Hey Viewer! Look here now! You’re not allowed to look anywhere else!”

    And I find it extremely irritating. I mean, beyond technological limitations, what purpose does it serve? Does the director think I need help focusing on the face of whoever’s speaking? That’s I can’t be allowed to look somewhere else? Go to hell. I’ve got my own, my natural depth of field to worry about. I don’t need your own to pile on top of it. I mean, I will honestly rather play a game at 20 fps than experience bloom and depth of field.

    But maybe that’s just me. Is it just me?

    PS: Now that I think about it, maybe I’ll make it a Diecast question. Hear what the crew has to say about those effects. (Shortened of course.)

    • Ysen says:

      Depth of field is often considered useful in photography and films because it helps the subject stand out from the background, and really helps focus (pun unintended) the shot on one thing without you having to zoom right in and exclude everything else. Also in film you can do stuff like changing the focus to show different things without panning or cutting to a new shot.

      That said, I feel like it’s a lot less useful in games. In a film it’s there to emphasise what the director wants to emphasise, and is used carefully and deliberately. In a game, it’s used haphazardly based on the game’s (often incorrect) guess of what the player is trying to look at. It can help you distinguish things from a busy background or judge distance better, but it’s generally not worth it in my opinion.

    • Neko says:

      It’s not just you. I can’t stand DoF in games. Like low FoV, it always makes the assumption that your character’s eyeballs are glued into their sockets and fixated on whatever’s in the centre of your view.

    • ehlijen says:

      There is that, but it’s also a question of what the director wants to show you.

      In books, you only learn what the author writes. You can’t go over a written description of a scene and focus on details the author doesn’t elaborate on. OK, so the man was sitting on the couch drinking whiskey, but what colour was the shelf!

      In a directed scene I don’t seen depth of field as much different from the simple fact that you don’t get to turn your head to look behind the camera, either. You don’t get to follow a different character through the plot.

      As with any tool, it can be used well or poorly. But it is a valid tool, in my opinion.

      Games where the player directs the camera are a different matter, of course. I really don’t get why games try to emulate all those flaws we get in movies only because of camera technology limitations. Lens flares? Water on the lense? Why? All it does is remind me that I’m behind a screen from the action. Talk about immersion breaking.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      “I mean, beyond technological limitations, what purpose does it serve? Does the director think I need help focusing on the face of whoever’s speaking? That’s I can’t be allowed to look somewhere else?”

      No,but the director has a vision,and is showing you stuff as they see them,so that you can see it from their perspective.Because its a non interactive medium,their perspective is important.

      In an interactive medium,this can be used in some places,usually when the story is very linear(like in half lives),but not all the time.

  5. Cybron says:

    Marlow Briggs and The Theological Ramifications of the Confirmed Existence of the Mayan Underworld

    • Destrustor says:

      Marlow Briggs and the Mundane Events of Normal Life Can’t Possibly Bring Me Thrills After What I’ve Experienced and as a Result My Entire Life Seems Bland and Depressingly Boring Now.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        You joke,but that seems like an excellent intro for the xbone raider.I mean after she slaughtered a brazillion soldiers in the first game,is it any wonder that she wants more of the fun shooty stuff in the second game?

        • Otters34 says:

          I dunno, most of that game’s events were the kind of horrifying stuff that makes people stop going on adventures for several long years. After all, a bunch of her friends and co-workers died, she got shot, punched, battered, nearly drowned, nearly exploded, her leg will never be the same after that bear-trap snagged it, had to swim through a river of blood, go sliding on her butt at ludicrous speeds to escape from murderous airplanes, shot at demon samurai(???????) ghost zombie golems animated by a vengeful sun-empress, and had to put up with Sam.

          And that’s not even going into the nauseating horror of gunning down, shooting with arrows, setting on fire, and hacking to death with an ice-axe dozens of other people. They were awful, close-minded and brutish, but few can easily get through killing people, and even fewer ever want to do it again, unless they’re total brainwashed fanatics or something. It’s just one of the many reasons the more “realistic” thing is so hard to do!

          Besides, what are the odds that the next bunch will ALSO have convenient reasons for why slaughtering them to a man is totally cool?

          Actually, that’d be kind of neat, if the next game was more about solving the latest mystery and Lara doing her darnedest NOT to kill anyone this time.

          • The Rocketeer says:

            Well, that’s the twist in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Lara is a broken mess. She’s already super-rich and has nothing to gain from bullshit Indiana Jonesing.

            Meanwhile, Yamatai shook Sam into really getting her shit together, and she’s now an adventurer archaeologist and ninja, with sorceress powers thanks to her brush with Himiko.

            I mean, that’s why it’s called “Rise” even though Lara clearly already had her origin story. It’s Sam’s turn at the wheel for the franchise, and nothing can sate her inferiority complex but occult treasures from beyond time and gallons of the blood of men, monsters, and rare animals.

            • Tizzy says:

              Rise of the Tomb Raider will be an art game where players control Sam back in England, trying to help Lara get over her suicidal depression and alcoholism brought on by her experiences in the first game. It will be set exclusively in Lara’s parlor.

            • syal says:

              As a side note, I’m totally referring to any urge to do any outdoor exploration activity as “needing a fix cause I’m Indiana Jonesing”.

        • Phantos says:

          I think that’s the plot of The Hurt Locker.

      • Ivan says:

        Marlo Briggs and the “I can’t take the chronic pain left over from the thousands of injuries I’ve sustained” any longer.

      • Chris Davies says:

        Marlow Briggs and the I can’t get this damn freeloading mask off my couch now. Says I owe him for bringing me back from the dead. Bastard won’t stop calling me chu-chu either.

  6. Nick says:

    Guys, you’ve missed what they are obviously mining – helicopters!

    They’ve hit a massive seam of helicopteronium and are shipping out the helicopters in massive crates because… well, you’ve seen how long they stay in the air

    • lucky7 says:

      Oddly enough, they survive longer in the crates than they do in the air!

      • bucaneer says:

        Crates are helicopter larvae. They spend a lot of time passively feeding on heroes that fail jumping challenges. After metamorphosing into the adult form, they only have one day to mate and die.

        A series of evolutionary coincidences have resulted in an arrangement where adult helicopters instinctively swarm around Mayincatec gods. A common point of attraction increases the chance of mating for all helicopters, whereas the Mayincatec gods are usually too preoccupied with trying to untangle the mess of cultural misappropriation that is responsible for their existence to really notice what’s happening around them.

        This delicate ecological balance has been upset by the arrival of Marlow Briggs who, despite looking enough like a Mayincatec god to attract helicopter swarms, is in fact hostile to them. It threatens to send the noble species Volubiliptera mayincateca into extinction.

  7. Henson says:

    It’s a turret section, Marlow Briggs!

  8. Phantos says:

    When Josh said this game was more “clever” than Borderlands 2, I really hope he meant Borderlands 1.

    Because if not, I wonder if he’d think it was more clever if he knew where the Dark Souls easter egg is in it.

  9. This game just keeps on giving, and what it’s giving is crazy.

    • And I know the SW crew was wishing for a punchline of some kind, but I think that would ruin it. This is like the video game equivalent of a really bad movie where the most competent people on board are supplying the art assets (which look pretty good on YouTube).

      It somehow makes it more hilarious if we can assume that the writers of this game are the gaming equivalent of whoever wrote the infamous horror movie, “Death Bed: The Bed That Eats People.”

  10. Disc says:

    Marlow Briggs and the Story of my life.

    You’ve lived a thousand lives, Marlow Briggs.

    Marlow Briggs and the The Life After (Many) Death(s)

    Marlow Briggs and the Secrets of Ancient Mayan Architecture

  11. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    I can’t decide whether that cargo cult crack counts as a pun or not.

    As for the later episodes of Marlow Briggs and the Insanity of Domesticity -there’s drama to be mined there (though power differentials between married people have been common for millenia, so clearly it can be done), but I think comedy is the better way to go. There is no way that having an argument end with “I got scythed in the chest, came back to life, and saved you from being unmade with creation” played for drama isn’t going to result in either Bathos, or a lot of uncomfortable side glancing in the audience.

    • Ivan says:

      True, but modern day marriage is quite a bit different from what it was. For most of history arranged marriages were very common. Women were treated as property and it was rare that a women ever had any power, and it was usually only in the shadow of her husband. Often the goal of a woman’s life was to become married and supported by a man because if she tried to take her life into her own hands no one would take her seriously. She simply wouldn’t be able to support herself in a society where no one wants anything to do with a woman who is trying to be independent.

      Now (in most modern societies) women don’t need to be married to be taken seriously and society has stepped aside and let them assume independence. This sort of power differential used to be the status-quo, that’s true, but women didn’t have any choice but to go along with it.

      I guess my point is that while power differentials have long existed in marriage throughout history, the game has changed and I think it’s likely that this sort of relationship could be very unstable when neither party needs to stay with the other in order to survive.

    • Tizzy says:

      Yes to the pun.

      Also: Marolw Briggs and the “I died repeatedly so that you could live, would it really KILL you to put your dirty dishes once in a while?”

      • syal says:

        Marlow Briggs and the “When I said take care of the bugs I meant call an exterminator, not stomp on them one at a time and make the whole house zoom in and out like we’re living inside an accordion.”

  12. Hitch says:

    Marlow Briggs and the Mines of Mookium.

    After Marlow and Whatsherface get home she can hardly relate to him anymore. After all the men, gods and helicopters he killed to rescue her, how can she leave him? But all he does is mope around the house occasionally staring wistfully at the scythe and mask above the fireplace. The worst of it is when the have sex. The whole time his face the just the neutral mask from the cutscenes.

  13. MintSkittle says:

    I lost it completely when Shamus came up with the mook mines.

    Marlow Briggs and the Mines of Mookia.

    EDIT: Just watched it again cause I missed Rutskarn’s followup. My sides hurt now.

  14. Heregoesnothing says:

    All the talk about what Marlow would be like after all this reminds me of a villain I had draw. Up for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign I never got to use. He was born out of a realization of just how mentally messed up someone would have to be to become an adventurer, as well as some stuff I had read about Ulysses S. Grant: A man who hated the sight of blood, but was a spectacular failure at everything in life save bloody warfare. The idea for the antagonist was a kind of hollow man, who’d seen it all and grown numb to the constant conflict, but continues anyway because it’s all be knows. Him and his band of similarly minded minions would have been mostly used as elite mooks for the more traditional big bag who had hired them, but I had a few interesting dialogues thought up that I’m bummed I never got to see my players react to.

    • lucky7 says:

      Sounds like the hero of a Joe Abercrombie novel, and that’s a good thing, mind you.

    • Grudgeal says:

      Sounds a lot like the villain of a campaign I’ve run, barring that he transcended into a complete delusional messianic complex and renounced war, all while his uncontrollable psychic powers inflicted his followers with the echoes of his own PTSD which made them as deranged and broken as he was.

      I think my players got a bit annoyed with him in truth. People don’t play tabletop RPGs in order to get a Spec Ops pulled on them.

  15. bloodsquirrel says:

    Wow, the commentary on this episode was golden.

    It’s a good thing too, because man is this combat boring to watch.

  16. Chamomile says:

    I’m not sure I see relationship problems as necessarily being imminent. In fact, if there’s an inequality problem it could just as easily go the other way – sure, Marlow Briggs killed hundreds (and yes Rutskarn, it is definitely somewhere in the low- to mid-hundreds range) of helicopters for translator girl, but once he gets back home he’ll have that boatload of psychological issues that Rutskarn has mapped out his epic series of art games the size of Final Fantasy but with continuity with. His girlfriend, on the other, is surely going to be suffering some amount of trauma, but unlike Marlow she still has perfectly mundane abilities that can be used in a perfectly mundane museum, whereas Marlow Briggs now has godlike superpowers that will haunt him wherever he goes. And the ability to kill armies of people is seriously just not useful whenever there isn’t a mustache-twirling supervillain to fight, so realistically speaking once you run out of those Marlow is going to be constantly grappling with the fact that he has incredible powers that can only be realistically used to profit himself at the expense of others. Whereas translator girl can still hold down a regular job after some time in therapy.

    The actual cool adventurer ending is when translator girl begins using her mad research skillz to track down other mythic superpowers and try to beat future supervillains to the punch, while Marlow Briggs uses his murder superpowers to mow down the armies of mooks that are inevitably dragged onto the site by enterprising psychopaths.

    I would seriously pay $5 for another Marlow Briggs game, and I’d pay $10 if it were one of the ones Rutskarn is pitching.

    • Ivan says:

      You’re forgetting that Marlo Briggs is a fireman. Not exactly a pencil pushing desk job (although I wasn’t aware that one could be a professional fireman, I thought it was all volunteer). He can at least use his magical freezing powers to put out fires. And I guess his super platforming abilities to navigate burning and collapsing buildings. His skyth-sword-whip-hammer might come in useful as well for knocking down walls or cutting into cars ah-la jaws of life.

      • Disc says:

        For some reason I don’t think there’s gonna be any fires he goes to fight that won’t inexplicably involve exploding helicopters, gargantuan moving industrial platforms, overgrown insects, elder gods and hordes of undead. And mooks.

        If they’re not already there, they’ll just show up, for no reason. It’s probably a good thing Marlow isn’t a smoker.

        • lucky7 says:

          “Heroes attract great heroes around them. great heroes, and great evils.”
          -S.M. Stirling

          • “There. Jeeze, if I have to hand-wave why everything exciting only happens to the main characters one more time, I swear I’m going to punch someone in the face. Oh crap, is this thing still on?”

            -S.M. Sterling No it wasn’t! How do you shut this damn mic off? FINE, I’ll pull the effing plug out of the wa–

      • Tizzy says:

        Actually, the next Marlow Briggs will be a firefighting simulation, and Josh will fail it terribly because he will keep hitting his firestorm power whenever he meant to use freeze.

  17. Neko says:

    Marlow Briggs and the Oh God She Wants Me To Meet Her Parents

    Marlow Briggs and the No Amount Of Cuddling Can Make My Undead Body Feel Warmth Again

    Marlow Briggs and the Monotony Of Date Night

    Marlow Briggs and the I Hate The Slurping Noise She Makes When She Drinks

  18. Leo says:

    The “Super” movie kind of answers the “I murdered a lot of people to save my wife, now what?” question.

  19. Kyte says:

    You know, looking at the boss/enemy/level structure I get the impression it’s designed to be played in the exact way Josh is not playing it: There’s a ton of ghost dudes for you to possess them and throw against the more important mooks, and all boss fights are followed up with mooks so you can show off your marvelous boss-riding skills (which in turn assumes you didn’t hit them a dozen more times after the B prompt showed up). I suspect this game looks a lot cooler when played ‘properly’.

    This is supported by just how easier the fight became when Josh started possessing the dudes, and how the Z-something boss was one-shotting the ghost mooks.

  20. ehlijen says:

    Marlow Briggs and the Balmook of Mookia

  21. Humanoid says:

    It’s obvious that Marlow’s girlfriend is going to be sacrificed, so what’s to say the big bad won’t choose to do so by impaling her with some other mystical Mayan artifact and/or farming implement with the same (un)predictable outcome? They could be Sacred Warriors together!

  22. MadTinkerer says:

    Rutskarn: More mooks to fight. Does this mean we should amuse ourselves by coming up with more Marlow Briggs titles?

    Josh: The fact that the camera is so fucking pulled out makes it difficult to judge distance.

    If I was there, at this point in the video I would have said: Marlow Briggs and the Judge of Distance. The Judge is a cyclops, of course.

  23. David W says:

    That last audio-log doesn’t really give ‘damsel in distress’ vibes to me. It seems much more ‘willing participant in the crimes’. She could have stopped translating, or she could have started translating badly. ‘Nine broken wings: I guess you’d better get some chickens in here’ instead of ‘nine broken wings; there’s an allusion to souls that I think would fit, why don’t you try killing three people’. Heck, why not ‘this doesn’t make sense, but it says the path to power leads through the gates of death. Seems you can only be a god if you die and rise again.’

    And she’s constantly trying to talk Marlow out of getting in Long’s way.

  24. Completely off-topic, but I think there needs to be a feature called “Spoiler Warning Magic 8-Ball!”

    I was just listening to Spoiler Warning’s “Assassin’s Creed 2” season while I did other things, and I heard Shamus comment on the size of the headphones a character residing in the future was wearing:

    “I like how in the future, headphones are even bigger! That woman’s gonna have an iPod the size of a brick.”

    I looked up and her headphones look a tad smaller than the “Beats by Dre” ones I see punk teenagers wearing these days. I want to make fun of Shamus for mocking the actual future, but I’m more concerned that Ubisoft may have accurately predicted a future trend and/or event!

    • Tizzy says:

      Does this mean that the future contains an Indefenestrable?

    • Humanoid says:

      To be fair, audio is one of those fields where bigger is better, and it’s true of headphones as much as it is for loudspeakers. On the other hand, Peter Gabriel derisively calls headphones “condoms for the ear”, and for the most part I agree with that too.

      * Not that Beats are any good. Check out Inner Fidelity’s Wall of Fame for suggestions ranging from $5000+ to $20.

      • That might not be true for long. As I understand it, graphine (the ultra-thin carbon material) can make an earbud speaker with ridiculous range in an even smaller package than what we currently have. The housing required is minimal.

        Not that I don’t mind sizable things. I can misplace a memory card the size of my fingernail and thereby lose access to weeks worth of audio as well as other data.

  25. BitFever says:

    Chris is super right it does look like a sonic game! Hats off good sir.

  26. Paul Spooner says:

    As it turns out, Shamus was right.
    “MARLOW BRIGGS
    AND THE SOMETIMES
    LATE AT NIGHT
    I JUST HOLD THE
    SCYTHE UNDER MY SHEETS
    AND I KNOW THAT I SHOULDN’T
    SLEEP WITH IT I KNOW THAT
    IM NOT GOING TO NEED
    IT EVER AGAIN BUT
    GOD DAMN
    IT JUST FEELS SO RIGHT
    IT JUST FEELS SO GOOD”
    Does take up the whole front of the box.

    • Clodpool says:

      I hold a special kind of respect for people who take these silly throwaway idea and make them happen.

      • Paul Spooner says:

        Thanks!
        … I think?

        Is it that special respect which causes you to look at some of the creators other works, seeking for more applications of entertaining skill?

        Or maybe that special respect that makes you chuckle and shake your head, rise from your chair and, still chuckling, stride confidently from the room?

        Is it that special respect that makes you back away slowly until you stumble on some unseen obstacle, turn as you fall, scramble for purchase, and run?

  27. Blake says:

    Marlow Briggs, and the customs office that doesn’t allow unregistered skythes.

  28. tzeneth says:

    I just found a line of great irony to this game from an earlier spoiler warning. From episode 24 of Mass Effect 2, Josh said, “I’m pretty sure that the only boss battles that games are allowed to have now are against helicopter gunships.”

    How many battles against the helicopters in this game have actually been boss battles as compared to everything else?

  29. Clodpool says:

    Something that slipped by in the container-jumping silliness was Long saying that he was surprised that Kim had turned against him. Did he forget that she was an undercover cop who had to start working for him?

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