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8-bit Theatre


Updated Every Weekday!

1/2/2003: Kick Nether Regions

Just recently, I've been watching a lot of crappy American films. Not voluntarily, you understand, but on the grounds that Pioneer are adding “value“ to their DVD players by unloading the publishers' clearing house onto the poor hapless fools that buy their produce, and it seems a waste not to watch them. Besides, they're always pretty funny, if not for the intended reasons.

However, it occurs to me after the third such film that the characters I'm watching aren't actually characters, so much as templates for characters, fleshed out with whatever sprung to mind when the writers found their collective tub of money was running on empty, by which I mean "more than ‘filthy rich,' but still less than 'two-and-a-half Fosters'".

Of course, not everybody has been as over-exposed to Americano crap as me, and it is with these unfortunate souls in mind that I present to you my guide to acting in a Hollywood blockbuster, and why fore it might kick nether regions, neatly arranged by the template to which you have been assigned. I'm nothing if not considerate.

Alpha Hero

- You can't possibly die. You should try to make as creative a use of this as possible. For example, you're cornered by a squad of men, who seem ready to execute you? Simple use your face to cunningly rebound a few shots! Seems that there's a grenade disturbingly close at hand, and your friends are about three seconds from becoming just another Pot Noodle? Why, carefully arrange your genitals so as to deflect the blast towards your enemies!

- You're absolutely guaranteed to get the girl before the final curtain. The obvious upshot of this is that you can spend the preceding 2-3 hours referring to the nearest stunning lady 'a damn fine piece of ass' and occasionally whack her over the head with a mid-sized trout in the secure knowledge that, if the film is sufficiently highly certified, you're garunteed to get to exercise your droit de signeur after she rebuffs your insults with such cutting comebacks as 'I live only for you,' 'You're more beautiful than life itself,' and 'get your toolkit out and let's get it over with'*


- Political correctness will be the blight of your life. Just try saying 'down with the darkies,' and you'll see what I mean. Almost without fail, it'll come out as 'damn those African Americans, damn them! Not because they're African Americans, you understand, but because certain individuals familiar to me are not people I consider likable.' On the plus side, this means that you'll live to see the light of day once you're a recognised household face.

- Your sensitive nature might also give you problems. Whilst useful when it comes to achieving your goals with the leading lady, this may mean that your only reaction to heavy gunfire is to curl up in a corner and sob gently. Of course, you can also explode into [politically acceptable] righteous rage, which is just about as good. Oh, and if you can avoid it, don't go near any small American children. Whilst your almost innate impulse to pick them up and quietly talk patronisingly may produce choruses of sighs among cinema audience, and occasionally vomit waves, Inspector Knacker will be waiting by the door with his Boy's First Book of Paedophile Grooming Techniques.

Love Interest

- As above, you can't possibly die. However, in this case, you don't have to do any work whatsoever to keep it that way, unless the Alpha Hero happens to be imbued with more than average political correctness and insists upon letting you take every other action sequence. Rather, assuming you're not a 21st-century love interest, you get to cower in a corner, looking confused whilst the hapless Alpha Hero kicks arse on your behalf, which isn't a bad deal when you consider that your sole payment is to fling yourself into his arms from time to time, then save the day as he at various points is surrounded by armed guards, wrestling a North Paraguyan antelope, or reconsidering his career options.


- Though you too are guarunteed some action in the closing stages of the film, you also need to have lived a lifestyle akin to that of a Benedictine Monk prior to the event. Make the slightest hint that you're taking the initiative here, and you'll be demoted to an Evil Seductress. And we all know what happens to them. Basically, you have to act as if you've only ever encountered men before in textbooks. To facilitate this, some key phrases to avoid: "Quite honestly, I've never found machoism that attractive." and "Are you sure it's in?"

* only ever seen in films made in Hull

31/1/2003: Worship Me

About a year ago, my Lance and Eskimo friends held an election to see which of them was the most aesthetically appealing. Now I'm a member of staff, it's about time I made my case. So, here's why I should be Cutest Redcloud Brother.

Chris is up tomorrow to start paying us back for leaving us in the dreaded clutches of Space Monkey last week. See you Monday!

30/1/2003: Hardcore Pawn

Time today to announce a new feature on Fully A feature I like to call:

Unappreciated Computer Game Character Of The Week!

(cue cheesy hammond organ introduction)

A slot with which to pay tribute to all those unimportant characters from games that we really couldn't do without. This week, UCGCOTW examines a man who inspired a generation. A man who has devoted his life to helping other people cold-bloodedly murder their enemies. I'm talking, of course, about this bloke:

The Pawnshop Bloke from Kingpin!

Kingpin is a very nasty, nasty, brutal, brutal, nasty game. In playing it, you are thrust into another, terrible world. A world where men can only be enormously built or enormously fat, their necks swallowed up totally in piles of blubber or muscle. A world where women only have one hairdo and all have big tits. A world where you can be shot for being uncivil to people, and for being offensively polite, too. A world where any sentence not incorporating the word 'fuck' is immediately ignored. But despair not! In this world of brutality and violence, there's a little island of etiquette and decency. A place called Pawn-O-Matic.

The Pawnshop Bloke is the only civil man in the entire game. Anyone else can turn against you in a snap, but not the Pawnshop Bloke. He's always ready with a friendly smile for his customers. "Good to see you," he says, in that pseudo-Goodfellas voice everyone in this game has. "Take your time." Even if you don't buy anything he's not at all cross at you for waking him up and wasting his time. "Come back anytime!" he says.

At the beginning of the game, you've got no money and nothing to your name but an iron bar. You sidle into the Pawn-O-Matic to beg for a crust. "Hey, you look like you could use a gun," says the jolly fat Pawnshop Bloke, before setting you a piddling little quest. How nice is this guy? He's a man who instantly understands his customers. He'll give you a gun, worth a cool 100 bucks, if you'll just run a little errand. Do you know how many homeless people you have to beat to death with a crowbar before you can make 100 bucks? He'll probably get into trouble with his boss, doing this for you. You should be licking his filthy boots clean, you ingrate.

Imagine the scene. You and your gang were planning to wipe out a rival gang leader, but he turned out to have a little muscle with him. Out of the ensuing firefight, only you survived. Every hit area on your body is drenched in blood. Your left leg seems to be sitting innocently in the gutter fifteen yards away. Leaving a hideous trail of scarlet behind you, you drag your carcass by your only working arm and finally lose consciousness outside the local Pawn-O-Matic. You wake up the next day to find yourself in the Pawnshop Bloke's guest room, all your wounds patched up, and your leg replaced by a robotic equivalent that can shoot rockets and run at fifty miles an hour. "You pay for that anytime," says the Pawnshop Bloke, arriving at the door with a tray of milk and cookies. "It'll be a joy to see it in action."

Okay, maybe the above never happens in the game, but it might as well. All-in-all, the Pawnshop Bloke is such an admirable bastion of etiquette and humanity it's just a shame he never comes out from behind the bulletproof glass. Just think how much he could benefit the world if he would just come out of his shell. He could clean up the whole city, turn it into a colourful and friendly place full of flowers and happy laughing children. Imagine what a beautiful place the world would be if the Pawnshop Bloke ran it. I, personally, would happily help to build a nine-hundred-foot statue of him to commemorate his appointment, if it wouldn't be so difficult to get enough stone to effectively recreate his enormous rings of blubber.

Hey, no-one's perfect. Personally, I think he got so fat because McDonalds kept super-sizing his Extra Value Meals and he was too polite to decline.

29/1/2003: Devirginisation

[ Didn't write an update today. Couldn't be arsed. Instead, I'm going to host a round of a popular game I like to call 'Let's All Watch A Guest Updater Depreciate Himself'.

-Yahtzee ]

A few days ago this girl was talking to me and she said, "Let me guess, you lost your  virginity when you were fourteen" and I’m still pissed at myself for not saying “yes,” and  then making up a hilarious fake story of how I somehow lost my virginity when I was fourteen, then telling everybody I know how stupid she is and having a giant laugh at her expense. Instead I was a boring, honest idiot, said no, and went back to throwing Jolly Ranchers at the TV screen. ElimiDate is a crappy show. A few hours later, I realized that I had been a virgin for over 18 years now, but I have never really sat down and analyzed that fact logically. So I decided to undertake this deep personal journey and send the results to Yahtzee to post on his site.


10. I am a geek. If you  say "Shop Smart! Shop S-MART!" to me I know what you are talking about. I know who Bib Fortuna is. I am fluent in 733t, and sometimes say 733t phrases out loud. Admittedly, I can sort of claim that I am more "countercultural" than "geeky" what with my tendency towards boycotting things, music featuring people yelling, and crazy anti-establishment political satire. But the fact is, cheerleaders, no matter how nice they are to me, won't ever try to have sex with me ever, because I confuse them by making jokes about McCarthyism (true story! It's just boring so I'm not telling you! Also, that's the entire story!). Now, I know that the matchmakers among you are about to say "but Angelo, you just have to find someone like yourself." This is true, but it's fucking impossible, which leads us to number 9.

9. There are at least 400 male geeks/xhardcorex pxnks per female geek/xhardxcxore xpxnkz. This means that any remotely desirable girls who are anything like me are taken. If you are a geeky/XxxpxxnxksXzzzxxcoreX guy, you have to have a three foot long penis, perfect stupid/tall hair, a highly successful band/writing career, chiseled abs that are so hard and defined that they're seven foot spikes of futuristic organic metal sticking out of your stomach, and whatever the hell else women want. This is great if from the female perspective - they can practically start giant martial arts tournaments of guys that they're vaguely attracted to and make us fight in physics defying ways and rip each others still beating hearts out, and give a "maybe" to the last guy who has all his lungs and things inside his body. Sadly, for me, it means that until my dream of creating the best ska band ever succeeds, I'm going to settle for jerking off constantly. Because that's all women are good for - to satisfy my sexual desires.

8. I'm quiet and boring. Instead of having a life right now, I'm writing updates for a humor website. Not even a popular humor website. [Oh, that stings. -YZ]

7. When I'm not boring, I'm doing stupid shit like running around dressed like characters from Japanese parody music videos. This admittedly gets me groped by attractive complete strangers, but they're all laughing too hard to talk to me, let alone have sex with me.

6. I have far too many female friends. This seems like fertile ground for "benefits" but it's not. See, every time I go out and do something with a group of people, there's always several girls in the group. Think about it. It a) makes me impossible to hit on because I look sort of taken,  and b) makes hitting on people damn near impossible. Plus, having a lot of female friends makes you look gay, if you’re a guy. Paradoxical but true.

5. When a girl asks a guy for help lifting something, the guy will help her, because he believes - at some primitive level of his subconscious - that if he helps her, she will perform oral sex on him. By the time I was a sophmore in high school, I realized this was fucking stupid - I'd lifted a shitload of things for girls as well as explaining homework, holding doors open, and being a good trustworthy listener that they could count on to be there for them - no oral sex. So I stopped. However, other guys still do these things, and other guys get some. I don't, and don't. Coincidence? I don't know, but since my sources inform me that Playgirl magazine consists of mostly guys lifting things, it's certainly as good of a theory as the "I know who Bib Fortuna is" theory mentioned in number one.

4. Did you know that you have to be 5'11" to donate sperm? It has nothing to do with sperm quality, it's just that 103% of women request a tall sperm donor so the Sperm Collection Agency doesnt bother with anybody who is, for example, 5'5", to pick a height at random which coincidentally happens to be mine. In conclusion, fuck you, women.

3. I’m incapable of lowering my standards to include “crazy bizzatch who sexually harasseses me. (Also a true story! Another update, though.)”

2. Sometimes, I intentionally push women away, pretending that I don't care, while in reality they are incredibly important to me. Fundamentally, I am insecure. I find it difficult to open up to people, because I am not comfortable with who I truly am. Instead, I hide my feelings behind a mask of strength and masculinity through which no love may... wait, hold on, I’ve just been informed that this is not a reason why I can't get laid as much as a reason why Dawson remains whiny no matter how many other characters on Dawson's creek he fucks.

1. No, seriously, do YOU even know who Bib Fortuna is? He’s a tiny, unimportant character in Return Of The Jedi who is on the screen for about two seconds, though there are probably at least eight books about him. Oh, yeah, I know that each tiny, pointless character in any Star Wars movie has at least one or two books based on their life story, too. Really, you should have just understood instantly why I’m not getting any based on the first few sentences of reason ten.

28/1/2003: Goalicious

Lately a question has been nagging me, and that question is this: "What is mankind's ultimate goal? What has mankind as a whole been striving for all these centuries?"

Now, you might say "that's two questions", but this dilemma worries me. It seems a bit silly for the human race to go on developing if we don't actually know what we're striving for. I think we should just bring the world to a screeching halt, make everyone take time off from work, shut down the TV network, the newspapers, the phone network, everything, then sit some of our finest minds around a table and get them to work out what we're supposed to be doing. Hopefully before yuppies deprived of their mobiles start killing and eating each other.

I suppose the best answer would be "world peace". But the thing about world peace is that it's impossible. You can't please all of the people all of the time, at least without administering massive doses of psychotropic drug which puts everyone into a gentle waking coma. If we wanted world peace, there'd have to be one whole country covering the whole planet, but no-one would be able to decide on which country should be the one to be stretched out. All the dignitaries would be arguing good points until the Americans burst in waving their stetsons and go "Yee-haw! America's gonna rule the whole world an' if you don't agree then ah've got a liddle gun ah'd like you to meet!" Then the whole thing would just collapse.

So, world peace is out. You might as well say that mankind's ultimate goal is for us all to turn into purple weasel concert pianists. I was stumped, so I decided to do something drastic. I asked my weekend updaters what they thought.

Space Monkey had this to say (edited slightly by myself):

"What is Mankind's Ultimate Purpose? I find myself asking this question often... no, actually I think it came into my head when Yahtz asked me to write about it. Well, anyway, what is it? Well, other than the obvious option of nuking each other to death, I'd like to imagine we get quite far, be it expansively, socially, knowledgeably or peacefully. The skies the limit, once we learn to work together. And once we reach the sky, well I'm sure the individualistic cultures will re-instate themselves and claim all the little bits for themselves. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, I'm a big stupid head, blah blah blah. In short, dear readers, we are doomed to a future like ours, but in space. Suddenly I feel reasonably happy with global nuclear warfare."

Well, I think that just confirms everything we already suspect about Space Monkey. Next came Chris's reply.

"The purpose of mankind is, quite clearly, to discover what happens to a race of slightly over-evolved hominids when they are confronted by the fact that they don’t actually have a purpose. Though responses so far have varied from vigorous attempts to get oneself abducted by aliens, through the abdication of responsibility to an external figure of power, to attempting to perfect the art of human flight from the top of a one-and-a-half storey building, accompanied by suitable embarrassment when all that results is two broken legs and six months of sniggering from friends and relatives, the ultimate response is likely to be the conversion of the world into an unnaturally large branch of MacGonads."

Hmm, that seems a little more realistic. But, I still need more points of view to debate this. That's when I became sufficiently drunk enough to consider putting the question to my supercomputer.


> supercomputer, what is mankind's ultimate purpose?

+++ THINKING +++

So, that didn't help. I guessed it was down to me, as the only intelligent person in the world, to work out our purpose. It took several days and nights, as well as an awful lot of mind-altering drugs, but finally the answer came to me.

The ultimate purpose of man is to find a way to put every single conceivable foodstuff on toast.

Fucking YES!

Think about it! Out of the fruits we made jam. Even fruits we couldn't make into jam, like lemons and oranges, became curds and marmalades. Dairy products; we couldn't put milk on our toast, so we made it into butter and cheese! We loved meat so much we made meat paste and pate! People have been known to put caviare on toast! Peanut butter! And what did we do with yeast, which we hardly had any use for? We made it into yeast extract, also known as Marmite! The single most popular thing to put on toast in the entire world!

When we finally make first contact with alien beings and they introduce us to the unpleasant-looking but delicious green paste stuff they rely on for sustenance, you can bet both your legs that the first thing we'll do with it is put it on toast.

Glad to be of service!

27/1/2003: Communication Problems

The Computer Room
You are in what is affectionately known as the computer room, but which is really just a room that was going spare after your parents built the extension. The presence of an electronic organ and a very smelly floor cushion could conceivably make this the music room or the dog's room, too. Your computer is here, sitting innocently on a little wooden desk.


The desk is a sturdy custom-made computer desk. There is a small chair in front of it, a computer on top of it and some back copies of Private Eye underneath it.


You sit in front of the desk.


You turn on the computer and wait the usual ice age for the thing to boot up.


You flex your fingers and are about to start typing today's inane update when you suddenly realise that you haven't got a clue what to write. You attempt to just write a first sentence and hope it will go on from there, but for the life of you can't cogitate any phrase that doesn't incorporate the word 'breasts'.


Your notes file contains only two or three ideas you haven't used yet. You wonder what you were thinking when you noted down 'THAT DAMN TOILET'.


You still can't think of anything.


You get up from the chair.

> E

The Kitchen
You are in the south part of the kitchen. Behind you is an ornate Welsh dresser, on which tasteful porcelain pig figurines share space with tacky plastic Donald Duck Disneyland souvenirs. The kitchen worktop is opposite the dresser.


The worktop incorporates a microwave, a gas oven and several drawers.


You open the oven.


You turn on the oven. After a few seconds, it begins emitting a gentle hissing sound.


I'm not sure what you're trying to do.


How rude!


You turn the oven off. Just as well, you don't want to bump the gas bill up too much.


Which drawer, the left drawer, the middle drawer or the right drawer?


I'm not sure what you're trying to do.


The middle drawer contains a rolling pin.


(First taking the rolling pin)
You beat yourself about the head with the rolling pin, and it eventually breaks. Now you're mum's going to be cross AND you've got a headache.

> W

The Computer Room


You sit in front of the desk.


The computer offers several possibilities. Please be more specific.


You try to enjoy the non-stop carnage of Serious Sam, but your computer is so damn slow and ponderous that the game becomes unplayable when there's only fifteen million enemies on-screen.


Surely you're not that desperate.


Bored out of your mind, you decide to play the original Zork. You get nowhere fast. But it does get you thinking...


You write a silly update.

(Your score has just gone up by 1)


You update your website. That should keep those little bastards happy for another day.

CONGRATULATIONS! You have completed Update Quest! You scored 1 point out of 1 point and earn yourself the rank of Webmaster. Would you like to (R)estart, (L)oad a saved game or (Q)uit?

> Q

Fuck you.

Updates Archive

All material not otherwise credited by Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw
Copyright 2002 All Rights Reserved and other legal bollock language