Marlow Briggs EP13: Marlow Briggs and the Most Impractical Bridge Ever

By Shamus
on Sep 10, 2014
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

Migraine today. It really hurts to watch this. It also hurts to not watch it. Whatever. I can’t fulfull my usualy commentary duties because i can barely look at the screen. Just watch the episode and pretend I said something witty or interesting about it . Or write your own. I trust you.

Good luck.

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From the Archives:

  1. noahpocalypse says:

    Not that I don’t feel for you- I get migraines as well- but I’m wondering if the improper punctuation and spelling was intentional. Either way, well done.

  2. Janus says:

    Somehow, this is not quite as funny as I remember. Don’t know what happened – Firefighter fighting Mayincatec-things shouldn’t get old that quickly. I miss the Indefenestrable-Landbattleship-Helicarrier-Refinery…

    If they wanted to do a “feathered serpent”-Boss (which is what that’s supposed to be, I guess), why didn’t they just take Kukulcán himself? You know… “Kukulcán” meaning literally “feathered serpent”.
    Maybe they didn’t really care… Could that be possible?

    Fun fact: Huracan was key in creating the human species, iirc (Josh is comitting divine patricide… someone call Freud). He was also a personified Hurricane (and the origin of that word)

    • Cybron says:

      I found the “it’s one of mine” thing a little funny. But there was so much dying and stuff this episode and so little funny dialogue.

    • IFS says:

      It looks like they tried to make some sort of western dragon-Quetzalcoatl fusion since it has a snakelike body and feathered wings but then the head is all western dragon.

    • SpiritBearr says:

      Pretty nice timing for the video with how Smite just added Kukulkan. Their version has a snake head and is a replacement for an Asian dragon.

    • The Rocketeer says:

      Nah, Kukulkan was the constructed Dwemer god.

    • Jakale says:

      I think they care as far as their theme is concerned. They do seem to want the gods to fit with the powers and they’ve done as much as people that use Greek gods and locations tend to do.
      We’re clearly going with an element thing. Fire, ice, water, etc. and Kukulkan may be the feathered serpent, but Hurucan is a god of wind and storm. Sure, he’s apparently a dude with one human leg and one snake leg (body? Would a leg shaped like a snake come with all the organs?), but Marlow’s people clearly don’t shy from a few liberites.

  3. Cybron says:

    I was fine with everything until the invisible walls moving with the boss’s head showed up. That’s just lazy.

    • ET says:

      I think this whole episode’s content was lazy. Like the guys said – the devs ran out of ideas, then just multiplied the difficulty by 10, to drag things out. :C

  4. Benjamin Hilton says:

    As far as the dragon goes, the snake-like body and feathered wings is actually pretty reminiscent of South American imagery. I will however concede that the head itself is pretty European.

    • Janus says:

      I’m not good enough a person to resist this… (and it’s a little thing that tends to annoy me) So…

      No, not reminiscent of Central American imagery. No wings, you know? The “Winged” Serpent is mostly a modern & western popular image.
      Kukulcán & and his Aztec buddy Quetzalcoatl have no wings. It’s a serpent with quetzal feathers, not with wings.
      Kukulcán as the vision serpent (from a stone carving)
      Quetzalcoatl in one of the codices.

      Not that it really matters, but again: little things.

  5. syal says:

    So, I’m assuming you guys forgot about the dart magic? Seems like a good place for it.

  6. Aaron says:

    this game…it’s just so…why, how, these things are thousand year old Rube Goldberg devices that nothing rotted away from or broke either from natural events or being used by a firefighter after so long

    it makes no sense

    and good gravy that dragon door and who has been feeding the dragon all this time?

    • poiumty says:

      Magic. Magic is how.

      Also, that’s not a dragon, that’s Huracan, god of wind and somethingsomething. You don’t *FEED* a god.

      Really it’s unfathomable how you haven’t learned by now to just stop thinking and roll with it. It’s like getting outraged at the implausibility of travelling long distance by banging coconuts together instead of using horses.

      This goes for the cast as well.

  7. Sciencegar says:

    The Mask is shouting the solutions to puzzles and bosses to you EVERY TIME YOU RESPAWN.

    If Josh wasn’t drunk, he could look down at the subtitles AND YOU WOULDN’T BE HAVING THESE PROBLEMS.

    I just….don’t you understand the frustration we feel when we have to hear Shamus endlessly bitching ‘The game won’t tell us what to doooo!!!” when the game is telling you what to do and Josh is just ignoring it? Because its REALLY frustrating.

    • ET says:

      Yeah, I expect this kind of instruction-ignoritude from Game Grumps, but not from the Spoiler Warning crew. :P

    • Aitch says:

      I’ve seen the same problem show up during similar situations in other playthroughs. The likelihood of it happening seems to be predicated on some combination of them either:
      a) having some experience in game design, making them more likely to blame a problem on a bug rather than a mistake they’re making, and making those mistakes from tending more strongly to go on their first instincts of how a game works and being less likely to see past those expectations,
      b) playing a lot more than the average player in terms of time and variety of titles, causing mental fatigue from not just the sheer amount of playtime, but the artificiality of forcing themselves to play out of obligations instead of when they want to, and for longer amounts of time than they’d choose to, and also the amount of mental clutter from having to remember endless amounts of input control schemes, engine nuances, plot details, quest goals, gear systems, etc,
      c) missing brief flashes of key information while trying to do their job at being entertaining to watch, trying to speak and listen at the same time as playing, which would be difficult enough without the game spouting monotonous boredom at a rate that the brain is forced to cope by blocking out various stimulus like valueless points appearing and disappearing, nonsense narration appearing in subtitles, the oversaturation of spectacle special powers, all serving to numb the mind of the person already worn out from playing more than they’d normally want to and ending up quite deaf and blind to the quick bit of info that ends up being the solution to the level/boss while they’re in the middle of trying to tell a joke or somesuch.

      I’m sure there’s more, but those seem to be the big three that I usually see.

      • Nidokoenig says:

        From what I remember of the crew discussing these things, the audio quality of the stream is pants, or at least not up to the challenge of making mid-fight snippets of dialogue comprehensible, so everyone who isn’t Josh can’t hear that stuff, and Josh is wearing two headsets, hearing game noise in one ear and the crew in the other, and either drunk or in a delerious state brought on by alcohol deficiency. With all that going against them, it’s a wonder they get anything done at all.

  8. Exasperation says:

    So, I posted this to the previous Marlow Briggs comments, but apparently everyone had already stopped reading those (something like 4 people had actually looked at it by the last time I checked), so I’m linking to it again here: Marlow Briggs and the Treachery of Farming Implements

  9. aunshi says:

    That fight was really dragon on.

  10. hborrgg says:

    Ok what is that clear orb flying around the screen around 8:00ish?

    • Otters34 says:

      If you’re talking about that thing on the upper-left, then it looks like some kind of artifact of some ‘realistic camera effect’, like an old water-droplet or light reflection or something. It is pretty weird, no question.

  11. Isy says:

    I like how the game essentially treats the hurricane breath like it’s fire. It doesn’t knock you back or anything that wind would do to actually hurt you. Just don’t stand in it or it will make you really chilly.

  12. silver Harloe says:

    Marlow Briggs and the Wake Me Up When You’re Done with the Dragon

  13. Yeah, the game just took a sudden left turn off “haha wtf” street into “ZOMG boring frustrating” territory.

    • Humanoid says:

      I don’t really have nearly as much a problem with this sequence as much as those seen in previous episodes. Simplest reason? The dragon has no mooks. I’d rather fight one boss with admittedly too much HP then a horde of mooks with too much HP anyday. Will see how the rest of the week progresses, but this neither raised or lowered my general opinion of the game.

      • It might spawn a bunch of mooks after it dies, though.

        Mook fights at least have variability going for them. Crazy things can happen even with completely standard mooks. Boss fights are nearly always super-repetitive and boring. For me, if something in a game has a “figure out what to do here” element, I want to repeat that a *maximum* of three times after I figure it out. Further repetitions with *new permutations* are okay, but three times is as long as any combo or sequence remains interesting. The first time, you’re just trying to figure out what to do. The second time, you’re trying to do it efficiently. Third time, you’ve mastered it. Anything after that is boring.

        That was one thing I liked (among others) about Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones. There weren’t boss fights per se. Yeah, they were a type of quick time event, but not a very malignant type–at least in the PC version it didn’t pop pictures of buttons on the screen, instead you just had to time it for when your dagger got all glowy. Many of the “boss fights” were also a form of jumping puzzle. It worked, at least in the sense that you didn’t have long, tedious sessions of slowly whittling away at a massive health bar while it repeats the same 3 attack sequences roughly 400 times.

        • Humanoid says:

          I don’t really play enough of the type of game where it’s an issue to comment on the boss vs mooks thing more generally, but in terms of Marlow Briggs alone, I’d take the boss fight absolutely: the mook fights here have no value or interest whatsoever beyond padding the length of the game.

          Maybe it’s the ex-WoW player in me talking, but executing a boss fight well over a decent amount of time is reasonably satisfying. The rest of WoW, being 99% mooks, merely existed to waste my time and was something I more or less ignored after the first year.

          • I would’ve loved mook-fights in City of Heroes had they made the group of them have an XP drop as a whole rather than XP based on each individual dude’s level vs. yours.

            CoH, like this game, had a strong soloing aspect to it. It was a superhero game, so naturally some of us wanted to play as the star of our own comic book rather than as part of a team. Anyway, at low levels, zones like Perez Park were full of groups of bad guys who would retcon you into next week if you so much as got a pixel too close to them. Once you managed to do whatever suicide missions the game had you do there, by the time you came back for any reason, you could often mop the floor with these gangs of thugs. It was quite satisfying to do so, and would’ve been even MORE satisfying had they given you a little something for doing so by yourself.

            Mooks can be fun to fight, but only if the devs decide to make it interesting or part of the narrative.

  14. Steve C says:

    The word of the day is Quetzalcoatl. Say it with me class… Quetzalcoatl. No. You pronounced it wrong. Try again. Quetzalcoatl. That’s still wrong. Quetzalcoatl. Fuck it. You are hopeless. There’s no D, no R, no G and no N in Quetzalcoatl. Stop using those letters when trying to pronounce it.

  15. Paul Spooner says:

    I’m kind of wondering if these suggestions are made with the awareness that I am compelled to make them real.

    Also, I love how around the 13:50 mark MB is swinging back and forth from a chain, frozen in a completely ridiculous pose.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Of course not.What do you think we are?Some kind of whipping firemen with scythe whips and plastic faces,forcing you to draw compose pictures on your laptop?

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Its really funny to see you guys stumble because you are overthinking something as simple as “whack monster on head with stick”.

    • ehlijen says:

      The head whacking part isn’t the problem. The problem is the ‘seriously, you want us to do this 5 thousand times over and over?’ part.

      The game so far has always established a fairly quick action->result pattern, so it’s really not that far fetched to look at a very slowly shrinking healthbar and conclude that you’re supposed to do something else that’s more effective.

    • poiumty says:

      But how am I supposed to understand that without a valid reference frame?

  17. Vermander says:

    Someone needs to make a minigame called “Fantasy Contractor” where you are tasked with building the massive and highly impractical structures that appear in video games.

    “So you want 300 foot vaulted ceilings, multiple bridges and catwalks with no railings, a main entrance that is only accessible with a grappling hook, and no bathrooms or kitchens?”

    Or better yet “Fantasy OSHA inspector”.

    • Fantasy OSHA Inspector sounds hilarious. Make a game where the “point” is to find ways to kill mooks on the fantasy game terrain. Make each novel method (lava, fell off thing, spinning blades, poison jets) an achievement. Then you could have combos made out of everything that damaged the mook before he died:

      Spinning Blades
      Poison Jet
      Fell
      Lava
      Burned Down
      Sank Into the Swamp

      x6 combo!

      Then at the end of the board, you get a little snarky “OSHA report” detailing all the hazards you “found” and making recommendations.

      • Felblood says:

        For obvious reasons this comment makes me yearn for an Evil Genious successor that allows for Sims style multi-story buildings.

        Imagine with me internet. Imagine!

      • It’d be even funnier if you could inconveniently change up how the game environment works: Oh, in this area, you CAN fall to your death, even though every other bridge has invisible walls. Yep, this floor may look like metal, but it’s got all the structural integrity of paper mache. See that glass holding back an inexplicable conduit of flowing lava? Totally breakable. You could punch it and… oh, you did. Good one, hero.

  18. kdansky says:

    The combination of boring and well-trodden, but still really bad game design choices and crazy bugs really sells this game.

  19. Felblood says:

    On boss health meters:

    Unless you are using it really ,really well( Like Buu’s Fury for GBA well. ) don’t use a single health meter for a multi-stage boss fight. Don’t.

    You can give each stage a meter with 110% of the actual HP on it, so players advance to the next stage knowing they haven’t won, if you want. That’s okay.

    However, if players need to hit a boss 20 times to advance, don’t show them a meter with 60 hits on it. That’s just depressing, and it defeats the point of having a meter. It’s literally worse than just having no meter at all. No information is superior to deceptive information.

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