Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Picture the scene

Picture the scene.

You’re watching an old black and white British World War 2 movie, circa 1946. The scene opens as one British soldier falls from a sudden burst of machine gun fire. The three surviving soldiers quickly lie down behind a small rise in the ground.

Officer : “Ok chaps! One of you needs to run up that hill and throw a grenade into that Jerry pill-box. Jenkins, you go.”

Jenkins : “No!”

Officer : “What?!?”

Jenkins : “No bloody way!”

Officer : “Now, come on Jenkins! Do your duty! Take out that pill box!”

Jenkins : “No, sir. That’s bloody dangerous that is! You go!”

Other soldier: “Yeah, why don’t you do it, sir?”

Officer : “Fuuuuck off!”

They’re silent for a few moments.

Jenkins: “Surrender, sir?”

Officer : “Alright, who’s turn is it?”

Other Soldier : “Mine, sir.”

Officer : “Alright, Jenkins, give him the white flag.”

Jenkins hands the other soldier a white flag, when from across the field, we suddenly see not one, but four white flags start waving from the German Pill Box.

Other Soldier : “Look, they’re surrendering!”

Jenkins : “Quick! Shoot ‘em!”

--- --- --- --- --- ---

I have to point out there that the above is not meant as a slight against my fellow countrymen’s bravery during WW2. It’s actually a sketch from the British comedy show named simply “The Fast Show.”

I must say, it loses a lot in translation into text. There’s nothing like seeing your typical stoic ‘stiff upper lip’ Army Officer telling his men to ‘fuck off’, as if the idea of putting himself in any kind of danger is utterly absurd.

No, the reason I’m sharing this with you today is because something reminded me of it. Rather bizarrely, it was when I was playing “Star Wars : Rogue Squadron II” on the Gamecube.

You see, one of the biggest complaints about video games, in the past, was that you never really got to do the ‘cool’ stuff.

Yeah, in a Star Wars game, you may have got to shoot down a few Tie-Fighters in space, but the technology just wasn’t there to create the few hundred fighters, the 20 or 30 capital ships, and the interior of the Death Star and all the rest of the cool things that make up the ‘Battle of Endor’ movie sequence.

Now you can create all those things in a game…and sometimes, in an effort to let you do all the ‘cool’ stuuf, the game designers make you do just a little too much.

Cool as that is, it can take you a little out of the ‘experience’.

Let me explain with a side by side comparison:

In the movie, the second Death Star (otherwise known as the ‘Sphere o’ Fear’, or the ‘Deathsticle’…basically a huge ball with a massive planet-destroying gun on it), is halfway through being built. The rebels have to blow it up before it gets completed, because if they don’t, it’ll be indestructible.

However, the mean old Emperor actually leaked the location of the new Death Star to the rebels, sweetened the deal by actually being on the thing…but has actually got the big gun working. Basically, it’s a trap.

The rebel fleet arrives, finds a few hundred Star Destroyers (The big pizza slice looking ships) behind them, and they’re trapped as a very trapped thing…in a trap.

In the movie, we see the space battle start, then you see the ground battle where our plucky heroes manage to blow up the big satellite dish (they must have on hell of a TV service on the Forest Moon of Endor) that is shielding the Deathsticle.

The good guys fly into the giant space station, through the incomplete superstructure, and lay a massive smack-down on the power generator. It blows up.

Woot! The Ewoks sing the ‘Yub Yub Song’ (At least in the non-ruined version), and all is well with the galaxy.

Great, right? Lots of people working together to save the day.

Now let’s move onto the game.

It starts just like in the movie. You fly towards the Deathsticle, you discover the shields are still up, and then you turn your fighter around to see the giant grey pizza slices looming menacingly in the distance.

A few seconds later a few hundred enemy fighters swarm you.

This is your first challenge. It’s not too bad at this point. There appear to be a good few friendly ships helping you out. You fight away, and destroy some bad guys.

Then Lando the Space Pimp warns you that they’re going for the medical frigate.

Ok, about 40 fighters swarming it.

I’ll just take them on all by myself, right? I mean, the two wingmen you gave me already crashed their fighters by drooling so badly on their controls that they stopped responding…not that the retards noticed.

Well… I AM supposed to be one of the greatest fighter pilots in the galaxy.

So you take them out. A few moments after the last one is kablooey, Lando takes another break from pimping his Space Whores to warn you that there are bombers heading for the medical frigate.

Ok, this is getting a little old. If this ship is so bloody important…so important in fact that its destruction ends the mission in failure…why aren’t they sending more fighters to help me out? Why not just park one of those bloody great Space Pickles (Sorry, I mean Mon Cal cruisers, arguably the most powerful capital ships in the galaxy) next to it and just blow them to hell?

No, it’s ok. The other pilots are busy hiding behind stuff, I’ll take them on by myself…again.

(I really need to find a better fighter-pilot union).

So after crunching my way through about 50 bombers, the Deathstickle shows its teeth by blasting a bloody big hole through a Mon-cal Cruiser.

The fish-looking guy absolutely shits himself and wants to run away…but the Space Pimp tells him to chill, because Han Solo (whose name sounds scarily like a masturbation euphemism) will have the shield down.

Yep, so the Fish-Admiral takes tactical advice from a Space-Pimp, who in the last movie sold Han-Solo and all his friends to Darth Vader. Exactly the person I’d want to take tactical advice from.

His advice? Instead of going left or right, to get out of range of both the Pizzas AND the Deathsticle…he advises getting as close to the Star Destroyers as possible.

Good work, Space Pimp.

So I’m just tootling around in my X-wing. What’s my part in this going to be? Just avoid the bad guys and stay alive until the shields come down?

No, apparently my job is to take out TWO Star Destroyers by myself. That’s right, I’m in a 17 foot long fighter with 4 guns and 8 missiles. I’m supposed to destroy, not just one, but TWO 6 mile long pizzas ‘o death. Each of which has literally thousands of guns…many of which can turn my fighter into a fine powder with two shots.

Ever seen a mouse rape try to rape an elephant?

Anyway, I remember that I’m Mr. Super-Space-Adventure-Pilot-Guy, and that this game doesn’t have a “Tell Space Pimp to go fuck himself and run off to one of those planets with the scantily clad, triple breasted women who always ask “Show me what this human ‘love’ is” like on almost every episode of Star Trek”” option.

The worst part is that while you’re attacking the solid slabs of death, single handedly, Space Pimp keeps getting on the radio to tell you to hurry up.

Oh, and if you take too long, and one of the death-pizzas gets in range of one of the space-pickles, fish-man shits himself again, and starts bitching along with space pimp.

That’s right, the heavily shielded space-pickle, with all its hundreds of guns can’t possibly take a hit from a Star Destroyer. After all, you don’t send a gargantuan ship, absolutely bristling with armament to take out another gargantuan weapon-bearded ship:

You send me, in my equivalent of a space ford-fiesta, with four BB guns tied to the roof-rack.

Then, if you manage to survive that, you get to fly into the actual Deathsticle itself, which is a lot like trying to back an articulated lorry through a hedge-maze, with a half inch of clearance on each side. Oh, and if you manage that, you then get to do the course in reverse…with an explosion chasing you.

Anyone else think they ‘Top Brass’ are asking just a little too much of you?

If Star Wars was real, here’s what would really happen.

Space-Pimp : “They’re heading for the medical frigate!”

Me : “I’m on it!”

Peeeeeeeeyow! Peeeeeyow! Boom! (ooooh, pretty explosion!)

Me : “It’s ok, Space Pimp. I took care of those be-hotches.”

Space-Pimp : “Whatever. Look out! They’re sending bombers!”

Me : “Uhhh, little help…please?”

Space Pimp : “No can do. One against 40 ain’t so bad. I’d help you, but I’m busy…uuuuh, flying over HERE in my ship, the one that has more shields and weapons than yours.”

Me : “So you’re not going to help? Or send any help? You’re going to leave me alone to tackle 40…count ‘em, 40 enemy ships?”

Spsce Pimp : “That’s the long and short of it, yes.”

Me : “You’re a complete and utter fucking bastard. If I survive this, I’m sticking an R2 unit up your backside.”

Peeeeyow! Booom Rattattaaa! (And all that bollocks).

Me : “Ok, I’m done, but my ship now looks like swiss cheese. Any chance of me landing on a carrier for a bit of a breather? I think the 80 ships I just shot down means I’ve done my bit in this battle.”

Space Pimp : “No! Wait! That blast came from the big ball thingy! You! Disposable fighter dude! Go and attack those two Star Destroyers…on your own. I’ll stay here and guard this bit of empty space…you know. In case we need it.”

Me : “Did you hear what I just said? My shields are gone, my R2 unit has just shit itself, I’ve got holes all over my ship, and I think I’m a little bit on fire!”

Space Pimp : “So? You know the drill. You have to go destroy those giant capital ships before they get near our capital ships!”

Me : “Uh, why?”

Space Pimp : “To protect them!”

Me : “So what you’re saying is that despite the fact I’m flying a small fighter, that just happens to be on fire…and despite the fact that I’ve just killed 80 guys…I’ve got to protect our capital ships?”

Space Pimp : “Uh-huh.”

Me : “The ones with the fifty bazillion kajillion watt shield generators, and all those bloody big guns on them?”

Space Pimp : “That’s right.”

Me : “Uh, why?”

Space Pimp : “Because they need protecting, dammit!”

Me : “So let me get this straight. Despite the fact they’re the biggest and most powerful ships here…we can’t let the other big ships anywhere near them.”

Space Pimp : “Finally, you’re getting it!”

Me : “So, why are they here?”

Space Pimp : “Wha?”

Me : “Well, all our little ships have their own hyper-drives, meaning the big ships didn’t come along to deliver us here. Therefore, we don’t need them to get home, and it’s our jobs in our little ships to shoot their little ships. So obviously the big ships aren’t here to take out their little ships, but you’re saying our big ships can’t actually get in range to shoot at THEIR big ships, because if they did, the big ships could shoot back at them.”

Space Pimp : “Yeah.”

Me : “So what are they for? From what I can see, they’re not contributing anything to the battle…so we don’t actually, as such, NEED them, do we?”

Space Pimp : “Well, not as such, no.”

Me : “So fuck ‘em.”

Space Pimp : “That’s enough! Now go take out those two closest Star Destroyers, and when you’re done, go fly into the Death Star and blow it up from the inside. Oh, and Fish-guy says hurry up. Some of those laser blasts are getting close, and the light is hurting his eyes and keeping him awake. He’s got to be nice and fresh to accept all the credit for winning this battle, so go win it for him. He says he wants more pretty, shiny medals.”

Me : “Right! That’s it!”

Space Pimp : “What’s ‘it’?”

Me : “This is. You lot are a bunch of fucking loonies. R2, plot us a course out of here. We are officially fucking off.”

Space Pimp : “You can’t do that!”

Me : “Fuck you, Lando. I’m Offski! Oh, and all your whores have crabs.”

And with that, the X-wing goes into hyperspace.


The X-wing pilot landed on some far-flung backwater planet and just chilled for the rest of his life. The Rebel Alliance got fist-fucked at the Battle of Endor…which they deserved…stupid bastards.


MC Etcher said...

"Yub Yub Song (At least in the non-ruined version)"

Hear hear! The updated song reeks!

Kato said...

I miss "Yub Yub". :(

Incidentally, if you check out the README, "Tell Space Pimp to go fuck himself and run off to one of those planets with the scantily clad, triple breasted women who always ask “Show me what this human ‘love’ is” like on almost every episode of Star Trek”” option." is bound to F2.

Paulius said...

Yep, the removal of the Yub Yub song is an actual was replacing the original Anakin with that Hayden dude at the end.

Oh, and Kato? Can you show me where the F2 key is on a Gamecube?

MC Etcher said...

It's right here dude:

Paulius said...

I stand corrected, sir.