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TOMATO IN SALAD KINGDOM
With a name like that, there was only one way this could have gone. So I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised when I realised I was going to have to spend an entire game being a cucumber.
The story is straight out of the Nintendo Anime Plot Generator, but with any fun or logical story arc removed, the absurdity and surrealism left in, and all the characters replaced with fruit. A lightning-fast text-only introduction informs me that Minister Pumpkin recruited some 'farmie' creatures, invaded Saladoria Castle and kidnapped the Tomato Princess along with some turnip badge or something. This brilliant piece of military strategy completely devastates the entire Salad Kingdom. I feel it worth noting that there is absolutely no mention at all of an army belonging to the Salad Kingdom. I also find it worth noting that while the princess is indeed a tomato, the king is a broccoli, the queen is an endive, the prince is a lettuce, and the other princess (yeah, there's another one) is human. You figure it out.
The king, distraught with grief at the loss of his beloved tomato daughter thing, informs Sir Cucumber, his bravest knight, that he may rule over the whole kingdom as its monarch if he should bring her back alive. He then obligingly dies, leaving the position open. Now, for those of you who believe that a knight in a kingdom without an army makes about as much sense as a magical green badger-fairy that grants the ability to ingest umbrellas through the nose, you would be right. But it seems that this is all down to a cultural misunderstanding, as are most of the world's problems. Apparently the Salad Kingdom is a passive, non-violent community, and the word 'Knight' is in fact a word dating back to the ancient fruit language meaning 'errand boy'. This becomes apparent due to the fact that Sir Cucumber will spend the entire game fetching and delivering objects for other people whilst doing absolutely no fighting whatsoever. More on this later.
The game opens in Sir Cucumber's colour-blind first person view, sitting in a field miles from anywhere with no less than fourteen command buttons lined up the sides of the screen. Taking into account just how sophisticated and complicated this game is, this number could be reduced to about five. Some of them even encompass interrogation techniques such as 'HIT' or 'PRAISE'. The most useless by far is a button called 'PERCY'. When highlighted, this button causes the words 'Who could Percy be?' to appear in the text window. In my naivety I allowed this to annoy me, when I should have been down on my knees giving god a blowjob for allowing me a few brief moments of blissful ignorance.
The very next screen contains what the game calls a 'baby persimmon'. I suppose it could be, at a pinch, since it's pink, fat, and wearing a diaper. It's also more hideous than even the most irradiated mutant baby has any right to be, and looks as though it's trying to pass the world's biggest gallstone. Your first task as a Knight of the King is to fetch water for this little freak, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Once moist, he perks right up, identifies himself as Percy, and offers his services. In the absence of any kind of military support on his anti-terrorist rescue operation, Sir Cucumber is only too happy to enlist this puling infant as backup.
Now, in order to tell you a little about Percy (and bear with me because I must do this or risk subsequent trauma), it is necessary to take you on a little journey. A journey back through the mists of time to when everyone was in awe at the flawlessly smooth animations of Doom 2, when Pacman sequels were still kind of cool, and no one had yet noticed that Roberta Williams was the antiChrist. A journey back to the 1990s, to the days of King's Quest V.
remember Cedric the owl, don't you? That spastic avian
nightmare in waistcoat and monocle that turned up
uninvited right at the beginning and just wouldn't fuck
off now matter how many times you screamed at him to do
just that? How he burbled out whatever was happening
inside his empty little mind whenever you found an
object, met someone, went somewhere, or did anything? His
chortling, companionable insults, his insipid,
soul-crushing jokes, his absolute and wholly mistaken
conviction that you were his best friend who appreciated
his witty banter and did not in fact want to wring
Well then, you should already have a pretty close idea of what it's like to have Percy as your inseperable companion. The only three notable differences between the two experiences are that:
a) the NES
mercifully lacks voice capabilities
Hudson, the creators of this gaming masterpiece, like to label this game 'adventure'. Once you actually begin to play, you will quickly learn that Hudson's interpretation of 'adventure' means 'fetch things for everyone else in the entire world, who have original and interesting names like Miss. Orange and Mr. Banana'. And that's just one method of puzzle solving in this intricate web of a game! You will also be required upon occasion to 'move away and then come back' in order to make the story progess. Every now and then you must do something terribly complicated and diverse like PRAISE or HIT, or even talk to PERCY, but these are for the really difficult puzzles, so don't panic! It won't happen too often. You will also learn that these puzzles rarely, if ever, have anything to do with following the plot. Example: at one point it will become necessary to go on a very long search for a donut to give to a tramp so that he will give you information that may or may not be at all relevent. Once the donut is obtained (from a trashcan, no less), you return to the tramp to find he has disappeared completely, and your new task is to deliver a love letter from a pear to a peach. This is only one example, but there are countless others throughout the game. There is also music, which is vaguely pleasant while at the same time mildly debilitating, reminding me a little of elevator musak. The tune changes from time to time with the location, but trust me, you won't notice.
Other areas of pure fun include a Naziesque death camp (which contained the single most disturbing image I have ever seen in a Nintendo game), and a resistance base filled with all the soldiers who apparently forgot to fight earlier, led by Princess Tomato's human sister who seems to be about ten years old and helps the resistance effort by keeping her room clean. There is also a town with about five shops, one of which is a toolshop whose owner who won't let you in until you show him the Resistance badge. This is very obviously a puzzle, so it only makes sense for this bizzarro-world game for the shop to never come into play ever. 'Princess Tomato in Salad Kingdom' is full of stuff like this, which some might call 'red herrings' but others more discerning might call 'totally irrelevent crap which takes up room so that Hudson can claim they used all the available space on the cartridge'.
The most disturbing shop in town by far is the Juice Shop, run by the alluring Miss. Eggplant. Although Percy kept insisting I take her out on a date, I couldn't help being afraid of her. All of the inhabitants of Saladoria are either a fruit or a vegetable whose worst nightmare is the dreaded Dice-O-Matic, and she's selling JUICE? And if this isn't disturbing enough, it's necessary to purchase some Grape Bloo- I mean Juice in order to proceed. Some time later in the Resistance Base, you encounter a Grape who appears to have been severely mutilated. I'm not even kidding.
Still, you can give the stuff back to him as some small way of compensation, and his gratitude knows no bounds. Princess Human is so impressed with your generosity that she gives you unrestricted access to the armoury. While I'm sure she meant well, it was probably the most useless thing she could have done, since there are no battles fought with weapons throughout the entire game. While there are a few bosses such as rogue farmers and some monster made out of different bits of vegetable (it's really quite horrible if you think about it), the battles all consist of three action-packed rounds of 'Scissors-Paper-Stone'. There is absolutely no way for the bosses to beat you, since losing just prolongs the battle slightly. The designers at Hudson uncharacteristically seemed to realise how pathetic this was, so they hid each boss away inside a series of huge mazes throughout Saladoria. It's completely pointless time-wasting, but by then I was expecting no less, and Percy shuts up while you're navigating through them so I looked upon them as a welcome change.
Got something a little different for you today. A one-off, one-page comic entitled Rorschach vs. The Retard Raider. I am required by law to mention that it was Sarah's idea. I just did the script and art.
Speaking of Sarah, she's doing tomorrow's weekend update. ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?
Hey, kids! Time for more goofy search engine strings people used to get to this site! And since Not My Desk, the site I nicked this idea from, has stopped updating, I no longer feel guilty about it!
"does justin timberlake masturbate"
Good question. If I still believe Britney Spears was genuinely a virgin, I'd probably say he did it an awful lot while they were going out. Although my showbiz contacts tell me they're not going out anymore. If I were in his position, then yes, I suppose I'd be masturbating constantly while the memory of her delightful honey-roasted rump is still fresh in my mind. Hope that answers your question!
"taste of vagina"
Oh, Jesus. What the hell is wrong with you people? You want to find out what vagina tastes like so bad you go and look on the internet for a detailed account of its flavour? Perhaps you should go out and get to know some women, buy them a few drinks, take them out for dinner a few times, then maybe, MAYBE, they'll feel inclined to letting you satisfy your curiosity. Huh. Okay, I don't want to discourage going out and meeting girls, but if you must know, here's how you can recreate the taste of vagina in the comfort of your own home.
YOU WILL NEED:
1. Mix the
warm water with plenty of salt.
"astrology a load of old bollocks"
Whoever you are, I love you. But if you're looking for information on astrology, I think you're taking slightly the wrong approach. It's important not to let your personal feelings get in the way of research. I mean, you're not even giving astrology a chance to prove itself with a search string like that.
I include this because it always turns up in my search string logs, every week. This and "slit throat". I just know there's some giggling lunatic of a schoolboy out there somewhere planning an assault upon the bullies or the teacher that calls him mean names. For some reason, he likes to come to this site in the hope that it's some kind of resource on premeditated murder (actually, considering certain content, I wouldn't be surprised). Well, whoever you are, you creepy, creepy person, here's the information you seek.
HOW TO STAB SOMEONE
You will need:
someone with knife.
This isn't rocket science, laddie! Now get out there and show them how much you don't appreciate them taking the piss out of your Cradle of Filth T-shirt!
I wonder why the protesting sentimental fucktards like the ones who write the Daily Mail get so frothy about violent video games, when a much more realistic portrayal of violence can be found in films like 'Henry, portrait of a serial killer', which everyone seems perfectly OK with. In fact, computer games are LESS likely to inspire violence. Films end after two hours, leaving the nippers still hungry for gore, while games can keep the little shits occupied all night.
I suppose computer games are interactive, but simply role-playing something is rarely enough to turn you into it. Children do not turn into furry muppets after playing Elmo's Sesame Street Adventure or whatever. Anthony Hopkins did not start eating people after Silence of the Lambs.
I like to think people are basically intelligent. Journalists have to do a lot of work to get where they are today, so they must have some smarts (mind you, I used to think the same thing of George Bush). I've been trying to work out how computer games are different to films that make violence okay in one and not in the other.
Here's what I eventually came up with:
The names for different genres of film are better than the names for different genres of video game.
You all know what I'm talking about if I say a film is a "comedy", or a "thriller", or a "romance". They mean, respectively, that the film will amuse you, thrill you or be shit. Games aren't as clever. Would someone please tell me what the phrase "shoot 'em up" is supposed to mean? Obviously I know what it means, but it's such a stupid name. It removes the dignity from the whole concept. I wouldn't mind if it was just an isolated case, but there was a whole slew of "'em-up" themed genre titles. Would you describe When Harry Met Sally as a "Shit film 'em up"? No!
Thankfully, the "'em up" series of names have fallen out of vogue. They have been replaced with some even more vacuous names for genres.
"First person shooter" isn't so bad, but I can still remember when they were all called "Doom clones". Were we so unoriginal back then? Would you call all gangster films as "Godfather clones"? No, because that would not do Pulp Fiction justice, and Samuel L. Jackson might come beat you up. "Adventure", too. Aren't all games 'adventures' one way or another? Same with "Simulation".
But this is all sugary coating before we get to the rich milk chocolate centre of this rant. Gentlemen, and female gentlemen, I present for your approval the Most Retarded Computer Game Genre Title Ever:
When I hear 'survival horror', I think of most of ITV1's reality TV output, or Robinson Crusoe suddenly discovering that Man Friday has a history of homosexual rape. But as kickass as the latter idea sounds, neither of these themes are present in games described as 'survival horror'. When a game is described as 'survival horror', what they mean is 'zombies'. Zombies, and lots of 'em.
I hate the way makers of quote survival horror unquote reuse the same scares over and over again. Zombies leaping out from behind things or waiting around corners. Yeah, they kind of stir you the first few times, but it gets a bit samey after the ninety billionth time. It's like being on a rollercoaster that just rises slowly then dips sharply ever few minutes. And the track is ninety billion miles long.
I think this pie chart illustrates a survival horror experience quite well:
So, I think we should change the name of the genre from "survival horror" to "Key-based wandering around simulation with occasional zombies". Or, for something a little more streamlined, "shite".
Today shall be a day that will go down in history. In years to come, people will hold street parties on the anniversary of this day, where children shall be dressed in silly costumes and ordered to look bewildered at the camera.
Yes, today is the day I figured out how to make animated gifs!
Just think of the internet sites I can pollute with this incredible new power. I certainly did, which is why I created some nifty banner ads for all those people who have to make do with dowdy old text links to my site, or the crappy old banner ad I made for YTOTW. I'm not mentioning any names. You know who you are.
Here's one with slightly less harsh language:
And some buttons too! I have been a busy little beaver.
Here's one that contradicts the one above:
I made a little page for them in case any more turn up. Don't bother looking at it, there's not much on it you haven't already seen. Also added a couple of links to the sidebar, there, and changed the year in the little credit at the bottom of every page to 2003 rather than 2002. Maybe now certain parties will stop nagging me about that.
If there's one thing in this world I don't understand, it's celebrity death. Actually, that's a really stupid saying. There are a lot of things in this world I don't understand. Portuguese, for instance, and the theory of relativity, and the reason why a second series of 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' was commissioned. In fact, given time, I could probably produce quite a vast itemised list of things I don't understand, but be assured that celebrity death would definitely be on that list somewhere, possibly between democracy and vacuum cleaners.
You see, whenever a celebrity dies there always seems to be an incredible surge of popularity. Suddenly the papers can't get enough of them. Even if they snorted coke off the chests of little slave boys and hit hookers with big sticks, and were never really very talented anyway, they'd just be praised for being "one of the last unique characters of rock music/politics/light entertainment/team-based masturbation".
This seems kind of arse-backwards, because from a legal standpoint you can say whatever the hell you like about people as long as they're in the ground. One would think the papers would be falling over themselves to get out all the really juicy stuff they've gathered over the years without fear of the attack lawyers. But no. They all begin inhaling rapidly stiffening celebrity penis. Hey, celebs, don't bother paying those hookers! Drop dead and everyone will be queueing up to suck your cock!
The equation for what happens after a celebrity dies goes something like this:
the amount of time before people start slagging you off
again after you die,
Alan Clark, the old Tory tosspot, died a few years back and people were beginning to slag him off in a matter of days. This is because few people liked him, he wasn't that famous and he kept shagging things he shouldn't. So he had a very small value for A. Frank Sinatra, on the other hand, died yonks ago and people are only just starting to say what a freak he was. So, if I were to die tomorrow, I would have a very small amount of fame, few friends but not that many mistakes made in the public eye, so people would probably be saying how brilliant I was for about two weeks, before going back to whinging about how my huge ego kept blotting out light from the sun and killing flowers.
I suppose one of the problems is the whole 'respect' thing. This applies to everyone, not just those wankers on telly. When someone dies, suddenly we've got to have respect for them. Suddenly every time I try to dig people up and make little puppets out of their pelvis bones, I get smacked and told to have respect for the dead. Why? All they do is sit around and smell really bad. And it's not as if dying is something really difficult, like climbing a mountain or surviving a terminal illness. People have been doing it for literally hundreds of years, but we still have to give everyone a round of applause when they kick the bucket.
Some things come automatically with respect, like being the head of a mafia family, or breaking the world record for number of orgasms in an hour. Being dead is one of those things, but I still can't imagine why. It doesn't make you special, quite the opposite, but we have to try to make the dead person feel special anyway. The only theory I can come up with to explain it is that you have to respect people who are really sick, like cancer patients, and you can't really get more sick than dead.
So, celebrities, if you really want to be famous forever, my advice to you is this: die. And I'm not just saying that because I hate you.
Although I do.
material not otherwise credited by Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw