Stolen Pixels #233: The Wonders!

By Shamus Posted Friday Oct 8, 2010

Filed under: Column 91 comments

I almost titled this comic “The Oneders”, but I wasn’t sure how many people would get the reference.


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91 thoughts on “Stolen Pixels #233: The Wonders!

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Sup dawg,we heard you like wonders,so we put wonders in your civ game,so you can wonder while you wander.

    1. Nyaz says:


    2. Blanko2 says:

      well i heard you like civ v, so we put civ v in your game so you can game while you game!

    3. Irridium says:

      Sup dawg, I herd u leik memes, so we put mudkips in your candlejack so now you can enjoy memes while you enjoy mem

  2. mumakil says:

    damn those are some overpowered wonders :P insta war stopper and +3 food for the price of -1 culture? Sign me in

  3. Aelfric says:

    Pretty sure I get the reference. Now if you had titled the post “Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters,” THAT would have been obscure. Brilliantly obscure. In fact, when you get the time, you should retroactively change it. Just sayin’.

    1. Ravens Cry says:

      Ooh, you doing That Thing You Do. ;-P

      1. Sydney says:

        Oh, now look what you did. I hadn’t listened to that song in probably ten years, and now it’s gonna be stuck in my head (and on my iPod) all week.

        1. Mad Flavius says:

          If you get tired of listening to the original version, my college vocal quartet did a live performance of that piece a few years ago. ;)


    2. Zombie Pete says:

      Joel from MST3K once said words to the effect of, “Don’t worry about how many people will get the reference — the right people will get the reference.”

    3. Shamus says:

      That was the name of the band the wonders pretended to be when they went to Hollywood and appeared in the beach movie. Good one.

  4. Rick C says:

    I drove past an actual weienermobile yesterday.

    1. Rick C says:

      Hey! When did the ability to edit comments go away? I wanted to point out that the typo was not an accident. Chrome said weinermobile and wienermobile were both wrong, so I spelled it ‘weienermobile’ on purpose. I’m right either way!

      1. Ian says:

        Sounds like how I came up with my handle, “Spectere.” Specter? Spectre? I don’t know which one I like better. Aha, I’ll just combine the two! I’m a genius.

  5. Factoid says:

    Who the heck are the “oh-need-ers?”

    1. Evan says:

      Hey, that’s “oh-ned-ers.”

      1. krellen says:

        IIRC, they actually pronounced it “Oh-Nay-Ders”.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Groundskeeper willie is in civv?

        2. Ravens Cry says:

          Actually, though it’s been years since I saw that movie, I am pretty sure it was Oh-NEE-ders, both by Lenny and the announcer at their first concert. Well, except when he pronounced Oh-NEH-ders, but I am pretty sure he was joking that time.

          1. krellen says:

            My brother, who likes the film more than me, says you are right and I am wrong.

            1. Jarenth says:

              That’s what brothers always do. Don’t listen to their lies.

              1. krellen says:

                I know what he sounds like when he lies, and this wasn’t it.

                1. Volatar says:

                  I just saw the movie yesterday. We own it on video. Your brother is a liar.

                2. krellen says:

                  So it is Oh-Nay-Ders?

                  There’s a difference between him lying and him being wrong.

                3. Jarenth says:

                  Listen. I’m a brother myself, so believe me when I say that brothers *always* lie.

                4. Volatar says:

                  Oh, wait.

                  I WAS CONFUSED.

                  Your brother is right.

                5. krellen says:

                  So now I have to tell him he’s right again? Why do you hate me?

                6. froogger says:

                  This was entertaining.
                  …and I still have no idea what you’re talking about.

                7. Jarenth says:

                  I’m fairly certain now that Volatar is secretly your brother.

        3. ClearWater says:

          I think it’s “Oh-Ni-Ders” as in the knights who say.

  6. Kameron says:

    Ha-ha! Shamus, you just keep doin’ that thing you do.

    1. Valaqil says:

      Man, all the easy jokes have been made already. I totally got that reference!

      Those red suits were _awesome_.

  7. J says:

    I’m curious, does Civ V show little clips about the Wonders you build? I’ve played Alpha Centauri (a lot) and the little movies you get whenever you complete a Secret Project were really awesome. Civ IV’s Wonder clips were… disappointing by comparison.

    So how do Civ V’s hold up? Assuming Civ V’s got them, of course.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      One word:Lame.

      I liked the movies in call to power the best.Especially the one for the mind controlling pyramid.

    2. Integer Man says:

      No clips. Just a voice over and a pretty picture.

      1. J says:

        What? That’s even lamer than Civ IV.

        I’m honestly disappointed. Alpha Centauri’s clips could be beautiful, disturbing, thought-provoking or just mildly entertaining. I so do not appreciate the fact that later games are failing to meet that modest standard.

        Oh well. It’s at least an interesting voice-over, I hope?

        1. Steev says:

          Honestly, I like the lack of movie better. The only Civ4 movie I ever watched more than once was the Great Wall (that one I watch almost every time)–It’s far easier to get through back to the game now.

          1. J says:

            I don’t know. I’m not sure if cutting movies is a good thing. Being able to disable them in an Options menu, sure, no argument about that.

            But these are (or are supposed to be) Wonders of the Worlds. Great feats of human ingenuity and imagination; a wonderous testament to humanity in general and civilization in particular that will be remembered for all time.
            Building such a thing should be special beyond just getting a bunch of neat gameplay bonuses. And a picture with a voice-over.

            1. Someone says:

              Its not like you even get a decent bonus from the Civ V wonders. Remember when Pyramids were awesome? The only decent wonder is Forbidden Palace, everything else is barely worth the effort.

              1. acronix says:

                I guess that´s why the egyptians could finish every single one of them in the first civ comic.

        2. Shamus says:

          It’s read to you by a guy who sounds like he’s about to die of lung cancer after smoking for 60 years.

          Not kidding.

          1. SolkaTruesilver says:

            Well, I always had the feeling that the guy doing the voice-over in the technologies, the wonders and other stuff like that is the man narrating the beginning.

            And he IS about to die. Or, at least, hand over the leadership to his son.

          2. Taelus says:

            Who also fails frequently at correct pronunciation. My personal favorite thus far is “Oh-Due Nah-bah-nah-gah”. I face-palmed a bit when it happened.

            1. Shamus says:

              I have no idea what you’re referring to.

              1. SolkaTruesilver says:

                It’s obvious. He’s talking about the “Oh-Due Nah-bah-nah-hag”! Don’t you know your Civilization V?



                1. Erin Palette says:

                  I haven’t played the game but I suspect he’s talking about Oda Nobunaga.

            2. acronix says:

              Surely, that´s the quote of the aztec wonder, whichever it is.

          3. Corran says:

            The guy is one Morgan Sheppard (yeah,I didn’t know him either) as revealed here:

            His IMDB:

            1. Soylent Dave says:

              Whereas I instantly recognised the name as ‘someone who was in a couple of episodes of Babylon 5’.

              He does have a pretty distinctive voice, although I suspect if I’d played Civ V I’d be going “ooh, I know who that is but I can’t put my finger on it”.

              (I’m still feeling mighty nerdy for recognising his name though…)

              1. I actually recognized him from the movie “Gettysburg”, where he had one of my three favorite monologues from the movie (the others being by Tom Berenger and Sam Elliot), and which I almost picked for my final monologue for a theater class I took once, but I decided against it for reasons which I still can’t recall.

          4. Friend of Dragons says:

            I really miss Leonard Nimoy…

      2. Maxie Zeus says:

        I suspect the lame Wonder screens (pictures only, no animations) were done for the sake of mod-makers. Few modders would be able to do animations, but anyone can stick in a picture of the Wonder they custom-designed and inserted. That would keep the new mods from sticking out so badly; it kind of broke the illusion of a superb mod like Rhye’s and Fall of Civilization to have the awesome Colosseum wonder represented by a still picture while all the other Wonders got animations.

        Of course, the modders still wouldn’t have Lung Cancer Man narrating their Wonders, but that would be a feature, not a bug …

        1. Will says:

          It was probably more due to the fact that doing cinematics for every wonder to the appropriate quality would eat money and man-hours like nobodies buisness.

    3. Macil says:

      Civ 5 needs more nerve stapling (and palaces).

      1. Jarenth says:

        More minds worms, too.

        1. Halfling says:

          I am just glad I don’t have to start games between Miriam and the Hive.

          I used to have nightmares about that.

    4. Benjamin says:

      Aw, I liked Civ IV’s wonder videos. They aren’t all awesome (some are definitely cooler than others), but I thought it was neat how you see a lot of them go from a sketch of paper to being built all while Leonard Nimoy does what Leonard Nimoy does (sound awesome).

      But from what people are saying, V’s vids sound disappointing.

      I’ll agree with Daemian that Call to Power was awesome.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        I liked the civiv movies too.They werent as great as call to power and alpha centauri ones,but they were nice.Having just a still picture is lame.

        Its funny how all these things were cut(animated advisors and wonder movies),yet the game runs slower than previous ones.

        1. Veloxyll says:

          runs SO MUCH SLOWER. Seriously guys, it should not take my system a discernable amount of time for turn ONE

          Edit: That said my main gameplay problem is if you tend to build everything in all your cities you start to run out of money in the modern era :(

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            I like that:To each city only what it needs.Thats the sign of a true strategy.

            1. Someone says:

              Yep. Now, if only they let you demolish things as well, so that you can raze the goddamnt bloody stupid barracks the AI keeps building everywhere.

        2. Sekundaari says:

          If the demo is any indication, Shamus could blame full voice-acting again, like with Fallout 3 and Oblivion. Obviously they needed to cut wonder movies to make room for Augustus speaking Latin.

          Also, I launched that demo 4 times or so (it was kind of meh to me, also too slow) and I already grew to hate the intro movie.

          1. Someone says:

            I love it how they couldnt even afford to properly voice and test all of the responses you get from the leaders. I cringe every time Elizabeth comes to my court offering a ceasefire in another stupid war she started and the voiceover goes: “Would you be interested in a trade agreement?”.

            1. acronix says:

              And so they spent money on voice acting for a completely useless and mood breaking feature. In the next expansion pack, they´ll drop all the diplomatic options and instead you´ll have to use a dialogue wheel. And your chosen king will have voice acted lines too, who will read every single line in the most innapropiate manner.

              Player: I´m punching this frenchies* into dust. But I don´t want to end them right now. Peace treatie.
              Player Chosen King: “Please, stop bathing in the blood of my people! We, punny playerians, beg you for peace!”
              Player: WTF was that?!

              This alone could take 10GBs or more. And that will be the only thing added in the expansion for that reason.

              *Note that this is only for example purposes. The author of this comment does not endorse the punching of frenchies into dust. He actually prefers to endorse the punching of aztecs and making multiple editions of the same comment.

    5. SolkaTruesilver says:

      They show you are somewhat neat picture.

      And tell you a stupid quote…

      man, I miss Alpha Centauri.

      1. Someone says:

        I too have tasted the fruit of Alpha Centauri and Call to Power. It seems the wonder announcements just keep getting lamer every game.

        1. acronix says:

          Wait until Civilization 6: the great pyramids made with ASCII!

          1. Will says:

            That would be awesome, in a kind of ‘what the hell’ way.

  8. swimon says:

    Man that’s a lot of people commenting about a movie I’ve never even heard of. Well just because of that I’m going to start making Kenny Starfighter references!

    Clearly Dr.Deo is the second most terrifying leader in Civ V (second only to Gandhi) with his unique ability to kill leaders with Mähälium.

    Ok truth be told I’ve never played a civ game, still funny comic^^

    EDIT: ok I got curious so I bought Civ V. I figured that if it’s half as fun as Heroes of Might & Magic III it’s totally worth it.

  9. Blanko2 says:

    who could miss that reference.
    civ v has already gotten my ire, its slow. slower than it has a right to be, even when not looking good. it stutters on my computer for some unfathomable reason. and you cant skip the videos at the start.

    so i have no idea if its any good, i cant bring myself to playing it. by the time i start i’m already sick of it.

  10. Nasikabatrachus says:

    The joke is on you, Shamus, because the game of Civilization was invented in the Beyond the Sword expansion pack for Civ IV.

    At least I think it was. I suppose I could have hallucinated it. Just one more turn…

    1. Pickly says:

      Someone created an event like this on a Fall from Heaven mod as well.

  11. Ringwraith says:

    The title made me think of something else entirely:
    “The Wonder! The Wonder! The… owwwwww…”

  12. Grey Ghost says:

    “Which one of you people said we’d be getting Leonard Nimoy back to do voiceovers again?!”

    “…The same one who said you had class, Jimmy.”

    Great reference!

    I am Spartacus :)

  13. Lord of Rapture says:

    I may be being thick, but I don’t get the Euro Disney part.

    1. Someone says:

      Unlike the American Disneyland(s) which is bristling with visitors at all times, European Disneyland is a ghost town because European kids dont give a crap about Disney.

      1. acronix says:

        Don´t worry! I´m sure they have their own demonic influence lying somewhere around.

      2. Jarenth says:

        Also, it’s located in France.

        So eff that.

        1. SolkaTruesilver says:

          Nah, it’s just that Disney never realised that Europeans all have their own individual entertainment culture. French, Belgians, Italians.. why would they want to be awashed in American culture, while in FRANCE? It’s like ordering Pizza while going at McDonald’s.

          If they visit France, they want to see French culture.

          1. Sagretti says:

            Disneyland Paris (as it’s been re-dubbed) is actually doing pretty good these days, with a second park and longterm plans for a third. The reason it had such horrible problems at first was overestimating initial crowds. They built enough hotels to house a small army, and when they couldn’t fill them right off the bat, the park took a huge financial hit. Theme parks and MMOs are kind of similar: if you make them requiring a massive audience on day one to succeed, you often find yourself in a lot of trouble very quickly.

            1. SolkaTruesilver says:

              And thu we have ANOTHER foretelling of the doom of The Old Republic, and the demise of Bioware.

              Thanks man, I needed that.

              By the way: Happy (C) Thanksgiving!!! :-D

        2. Deoxy says:

          As someone who as has been to France and experienced their wonderful culture, I heartily second this comment.

  14. Eddie says:

    Alright, fine, Shamus, I’ll order Civilization V already! Geez, you don’t have to keep going on about it, the demo had already pretty much sold me on it.

  15. Deoxy says:

    Great comic, Shamus, as usual. The self-referential wonder is made of win.

  16. Ubu says:

    I never realized there were so many geeks that still like to play Alpha Centauri.

    Oops…I meant other geeks!

    And yes, while I love the rules and such for Civ V, I’ve got serious gripes about the slow turn processing, Steam, lame wonder movies, Steam, inability to conquer the world (“Dammit, they’re Very Unhappy AGAIN???), Steam, long load times, Steam, and…oh yes, Steam.

    1. SolkaTruesilver says:

      How about Steam? You forgot to mention it.

    2. Blanko2 says:

      you also forgot: unskippable intro movies that arent short, inability to change graphic options in-game, steam and the fact that, while you dont have ubisoft’s DRM you still have, you guessed it, steam.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        You can turn the intro off.Its there instead of the loading screen.But yes,it can get annoying.It is much better to have half a minute of silence.

    3. Jarenth says:

      Oh god, the loading times.

      I can easily Planetbuster about three cities into iridescent three-by-three lakes in the time it takes Civ V to complete one turn. In fact, the best thing I ever did was listen to Shamus gripe about unit animations and turn them off before I began.

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