Articles

Xmas Contest '08 Page One

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If your answer to the above question was yes, then congratulations to you for entering into the spirit of the holiday, and wasting your time by writing a fake history of a LucsasArts game, in a mad attempt to win a copy of Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts.

What is Rogue Leaders? Why, it's only the greatest book since Shakespeare! Written by Rob Grant, and sexed up with thousands of glossy concept art pictures, it's the must have item on every LucasArts fan's Christmas lists this Hanukkah (or Kwanzaa or whatever).

What follows is the best of the competition entries: Mojo readers' own crazed ideas on what would be in our own LucasArts history book, should the gods ever allow such a thing.

The judges:

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Gabez


and

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Spaff, recently exhumed and ressurected for Chrimbo.

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THE GRIM CREATION OF A FANDANGO: A PLAY IN ONE ACT

The scene is a typical pub, with mainly brown colours. The air is filled with the smoke of cigars. In the background, some men are playing billiards.

MR SCHAFER enters, hanging his brown bowler on the hat-stand. He shakes the rain drops off his umbrella, and puts it in the umbrella stand.

MR SCHAFER Good evening, Jack.

JACK (THE BARTENDER) Evenin'. What shall it be?

MR SCHAFER Oh, the usual.

JACK starts pouring a whisky.

MR SCHAFER Make it a double. I'm feeling creative tonight.

MR SCHAFER sits down and starts drinking his whisky. He takes his pocket watch out of his waistcoat and looks at the time. The door opens.

MR SCHAFER Right on time. That's the spirit.

Two men, MR MCCONNELL and MR CHAN, both neatly dressed, enter the pub. MR MCCONNELL wears a black fedora, which he does not remove. They sit down at MR SCHAFER's table.

MR MCCONNELL What's this about then? I was just about to start on my second banger, when I got your wire. This had better be worth our time.

MR CHAN Indeed.

MR SCHAFER My friends, there is no need to worry, for this is a monumental moment of epic proportions. I have had an idea.

MR MCCONNELL What, not again that machine that supposedly sucks one into a man's very soul? We all know how that ended.

MR CHAN (laughs)

MR SCHAFER Nay gentlemen, this time I have an idea of greater value. Indeed, I even would go so far as to patent it this time.

MR MCCONNELL and MR CHAN listen intently, their mouths open.

MR SCHAFER Watch.

MR SCHAFER takes a napkin, and begins folding it into an exquisite shape. When he is done, a GOSPEL CHOIR enters the stage.

GOSPEL CHOIR He is the creator
Of something truly grand
Even an alligator
Would love to shake his hand

Exit GOSPEL CHOIR.

MR CHAN I must say, that looks extraordinary! But it could use something more, yes? How about...

MR CHAN starts drawing on the figure that MR SCHAFER has just folded. After sketching something on the folded napkin with a pencil that MR CHAN keeps tucked behind his ear, he orders a bottle of the finest Indian ink and some watercolour paint.

JACK Here you go, sir.

MR CHAN Thank you.

MR CHAN paints the figure further.

MR CHAN There. Done.

MR MCCONNELL I say, that does not look half bad, eh? By Jove, it does look good. Why, even the Queen herself would think that magnificent, or I am a little girl!

THE QUEEN enters the pub, holding a bouquet of flowers in her left hand.

THE QUEEN Did someone call me?

MR SCHAFER Your Majesty! What a great honour...

THE QUEEN ...for me to be in your company. Yes, yes indeed. We are much enjoying it. 'ere, what's this then?

MR SCHAFER That is our creation. We have not yet seen fit to give it a name. Perhaps you would care to help us out in that respect?

THE QUEEN reaches behind her back, and her hand re-emerges, holding a champagne bottle. She slams the bottle against the folded napkin.

THE QUEEN I name you Manuel Calavera!

The napkin dissolves in the stream of champagne that engulfs it. THE QUEEN, upon seeing this, stamps on the floor, breaking the heel of her shoe. She falls to the ground.

THE QUEEN Damn!

Immediately thereafter, two AMBULANCE MEN enter the pub, carrying a stretcher.

MR SCHAFER Excuse me, young men! Do you happen to have a napkin or something akin to it on you?

QMBULANCE MAN #1 Oi, 'arry! Aff you gotta pieca pape'?

AMBULANCE MAN #2 'ere, use this, mate.

The SECOND AMBULANCE MAN tosses a piece of gauze at MR SCHAFER. The AMBULANCE MEN leave the pub, carrying THE QUEEN on their stretcher.

MR SCHAFER Let us start afresh. Do you think you could draw the same patterns on it again if I fold it?/

MR CHAN Not only that, I think I could outdo myself this time!

MR SCHAFER folds the gauze, then MR CHAN draws eyes, a mouth, and a suit on the figurine. MANUEL CALAVERA comes into existence.

MANUEL CALAVERA ¡Hola! ¿Qué tal?

MR SCHAFER There seems to be just one flaw with my plan.

MR CHAN What is that?

MR SCHAFER The cretin appears to speak some sort of French dialect.

MR MCCONNELL Why, that's marvellous! The frogs are all the rage these days! Just look at that girl over there, for instance.

MR SCHAFER What about her?

MR MCCONNELL She's wearing a corset! Can you believe that? Nobody in their right mind would do that unless they were French. Or...

MR SCHAFER Or unless they admired the French... yes, yes, I see what you mean! Gentlemen, this calls for a celebration! Jack! Champagne for the whole pub!

PATRONS Hurrah!

Outside, the church bells toll eleven.

MR CHAN Oh! I have to go. If you'll excuse me...

MR SCHAFER Until we meet again, Mr Chan.

MR MCCONNELL Goodbye! Oh, by the way, Timothy... do you not think that this little puppet of yours would need some sort of diorama to accompany it? I could compose the music for it!

MR SCHAFER That sounds like a spiffy idea.

MR MCCONNELL Right. Watch this.

MR MCCONNELL takes a violin case from underneath his chair. He opens it, takes out the VIOLIN and takes position on the stage. All the PATRONS go silent. MR MCCONNELL starts playing.

VIOLIN I sing with joy, with melancholy, with pain, with happiness, sadness. The world is my song! I sing of villages and villagers, of people and of spirit, of love and death! Hear me, all ye who have ears to hear my music, and I shall show you the way to heaven. It is not yet too late to rejoice! Sing with me, people of this public house!

PATRONS Lalalalala!

JACK (sings) Osanna in excelsis!

The song ends, and MR MCCONNELL leaves the pub to a standing ovation. The PATRONS leave. MR SCHAFER is the only guest who stays behind.

JACK That was lovely, Mr Schafer.

JACK looks out the window.

JACK Oh dear, now here it comes.

A man (MR PETTIT) in a long black coachman's coat, wearing a top hat and a smug grin, enters the pub. He takes off his glove and steps toward MR SCHAFER.

MR PETTIT Mr Schafer... what in the bloody hell have you cooked up this time?

MR SCHAFER It's... a diorama.

MR PETTIT What, with puppets?!

MR SCHAFER Yes.

MR PETTIT Just puppets?!

MR SCHAFER Yes.

MR PETTIT No aeroplanes? No rockets? No fireworks? No monks with flaming swords? No men clad in white armour?

MR SCHAFER No. Well, there is a blimp...

MR PETTIT (grinning) I'm sorry, Timothy, but I can't let that go through. The people want spectacle! They do not care about some whimsical diorama with paper puppets! They want nothing less than the universe brought to them on a plate!

MR SCHAFER But Daniel...

MR PETTIT Do not call me Daniel! Anyway, my work here is done.

MR SCHAFER You will not give your approval then?

MR PETTIT Sorry, but no. You either learn to conform, or you end up in the gutter.

A thunderbolt hits the ground, right next to MR PETTIT, who jumps aside. A booming VOICE is heard.

VOICE No! I will not have it!

MR SCHAFER What happens? Who is there?

JACK And why is the roof of the pub still intact?

VOICE It is I, Lucas Saint George. For too long, my name has been abused, associated with mediocre magic lantern shows and Kinetoscope reels. And now, you, Daniel, would make it even worse? I simply will not have that.

MR PETTIT No sir, yes sir.

VOICE As for you, Timothy, you have gained my favour. I shall make your name great in the world.

MR SCHAFER But, you must help me! I, I cannot do this all alone!

VOICE You will find that you can. You may even overtake me.

The VOICE disappears in a mist, taking MR PETTIT with it. MR SCHAFER walks out of the pub, stunned, when he hears MANUEL CALAVERA speak to him from the pocket of his jacket.

MANUEL CALAVERA ¿Señor Schafer?

MR SCHAFER Yes?

MANUEL CALAVERA Te quiero.

THE END

-- submitted by Haggis

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This entry has everything: Tim Schafer, The Queen, and of course Dan Pettit.

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I also dig the style. It's written like some kind of jack-ass Victorian bitch opera. I'd love to see this put on as an actual play. I think it would work really really well.

March 3, 2004: A sad day for adventure gamers everywhere. A brief press release on LucasArts' web site left countless fans dismayed, but also baffled. But until now, few people knew the full story behind the cancellation of "Sam and Max: Freelance Police"…

Finally, after much coersion, project leader Mike Stemmle finally revealed the truth:

"It was a grave day for the project," Stemmle lamented, "a few of us had gathered around the project server, and we working out the technical details on a model of Stan the ship salesman, who was going to have significant cameo in the game.

"I still wince at the memory, but suffice to say it involved an impromptu Stan impersonation, and a precariously positioned mug of coffee...

"We still had some of the data left, but unfortunately higher-ups couldn't extend our budget to recreate the rest, and they told us they'd have to cancel the project, adding 'But I don't think it would be a good idea to publicize the coffee accident. We'll just stick up a small press release, dressed up with marketing speak or something, and hope noone notices'

"Obviously they wasn't being serious about that last bit - I hope. But Marketing apparently took it literally, posting a short press release containg random buzzwords, and the 'reassuring' statement that no layoffs were planned.

"Left with no project to work on, we made plans to leave and start a new company dedicated to graphic adventures, and not tying up our budget with a single IP. And so eventually, Telltale Games was formed, and has produced not just one game, but two entire seasons of Sam and Max, not to mention the games based on other creations."

"So thanks to all our fans for sticking by and supporting us, and hope that it's all been worth the wait. And we're really really sorry about the coffee."

-- submitted by Counting_Pine

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I feel like this entry could be real. I mean, I know it's not, but its written in sucha a truthy, factual way.

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Do you think the coffee bit is a refference to the infamous Grand Theft Auto cheat?

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It probably is. I can imagine a Sam and Max minigame where Stan has to be fiddled with behind the bikesheds. Hey, sounds good to me!

What many people are unaware of is the origin of Maniac Mansion. Originally the game was to be called Kleptomaniac Mansion and would have involved the player to pick up as many objects as possible throughout the mansion, with no other objectives or ultimate goal. Ron Gilbert believed this would be the best way to have massive sales, as it would become a simulator for compulsive behaviour resulting in people having the compulsive urge to play it. This was discarded because of technical limitations of the time, it wasn't possible to make an inventory large enough to store all of the objects originally intended to be available(this included chain saw fuel). It was decided that it would be best to have a plot, a meaningful goal, puzzles, and multiple characters to make up for the inventory shortcoming. But the resourcefulness of the programmers prevailed, as they were able to keep many objects available as inventory items despite having no usefullness or purpose to the puzzles or plot at hand.

There's also plenty of other interesting triva.

  • Chuck the Plant was named after Chuck Norris, as were all the other Chucks found in later LucasArts games.
  • The staircase located in the library was actually a combination of two cruel jokes, the first is aimed towards the blind, only a person with sight would be able to read the warning and avoid potential injury. The second is that the destination of the stairs is heaven, which is unreachable as the stairs are closed.
  • The design of the mansion was inspired from George Lucas' own personal mansion, which was built on a Native American burial ground(it took George Lucas several years to find a suitable burial ground to build his mansion on).
  • Dead Cousin Ted was based on the person that actually created Star Wars and Indiana Jones, George Lucas captured and held him in his basement for several years until he found no further use for him. He was then killed and mummified, eventually being used as a prop for several films. To date, this person's actual identity is unknown to the public.

-- submitted by Jonathan

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Another very believable entry! I'm having trouble telling fact from fiction, these fake histories are so good.

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That "fact" about Chuck the plant actually makes a lot of sense. And it's also quite true about the staircase: tho' I suppose blind people don't play a lot of Maniac Mansion?

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You could easily make a version for blind people: you know, like completely audio-based. A voice would be like "you have entered a hallway. Dr Fred is lerring towards you" and you'd have to say what you wanted to do.

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Someone get this made! It beats raping Stan, anyway.

One day a dragon told Dave Grossman that an old man in the far away magical land of Vancouver had the perfect idea for a game. Dave knew that Ron Gilbert was trying to find an idea for a new game, so he convinced George Lucas to send Ron Gilbert on a quest to talk to the man. On the way, he spotted a talking penguin. He was amused by the penguin's sense of humor, so he brought the penguin along with him on his journey. He found out later that the penguin wasn't a penguin at all, but rather he was just a man who was eating fish and wearing a tuxedo. This man's name was Tim Schafer. Tim and Ron made it all the way to Grass Valley, California before they decided that they were too tired and cold to go any further. There they saw a fountain full of murky water, and Ron decided to take a drink. He woke up ten days later on an island in the Carribean, dreaming of becoming a pirate. A year later Ron came back to California and found Tim as a roadie for a group of street performers at the fountain in Grass Valley. Ron took Tim back to the game offices at Lucasfilm, and decided to have Dave Grossman and Tim Schafer help document the year he spent in the Carribean. The Secret of Monkey Island was that story.

-- submitted by Jennifer McMurray

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I like the way it isn't clear until the end what this is a history of. Jennifer's managed to get a lot of games referenced here. It's like the whole last 15 years microcosmed into one adventure.

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Yes...

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Are you still thinking about Stan rape?

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Yes...



The Story of Grim Fandango: an EPIC Tale of CRIME and CORRUPTION in the Land of the Living

The human mind... All the modern scientists agree that it is, like, totally weird and bogus. One of the more mystifying features of these pink and fluffy thingies is the Collective Unconscious! More than just a quick way to travel between different levels in some excellent games, it is a reservoir of the experiences of our species as some famous dudes have sometimes called it. All of this is mysteriously connected to the phenomenon known only as "Grim Fandango".

It's a little known fact that the first word ever uttered by a semi-intelligent lifeform on our little planet was indeed "Grim...". How do I know this? Answer: Original research and 1.21 jigowatts (Brütal Legend and Deathspank rocked, by the way!). Why was the first spoken word "Grim"? Answer: Well, there isn't one. One theory is that some buddy boy exploded and created the Universe and spread his knowledge or something something but since we're trying to keep this even a little bit simple, we won't be going there. Just watch the movie version about that exploding kid.

Everyone still with me? I thought not. Anyways, the word "Grim" traveled eons and eons in the supermemories of all humans and people. The meaning of the word was hidden for most of them and many more didn't even know they were carrying such a great legacy. Some cool and not-so-cool guys from all over the space-time-continuum have been able to suddenly understand the great truth in the word, but most of them couldn't take it and exploded immediately or something like that (see "Spontaneous Human Combustion the Movie the Game"). Some famous chaps HAVE been able to contain the information, though. One of these chaps was a well known ruler of a country and a funny man. He ALMOST exploded in the year 1908 but somehow survived. Alas, he interpreted the information incorrectly and ended up killing zillions of innocent people in the process of realizing Grim. When he noticed his mistake, it was already too late and he terminated his own existence as a result and there was much rejoicing.

Now that you all understand the horrible consequences of understanding this ancient information incorrectly, you will probably appreciate the efforts of the dude who finally got it right that much more. The night was November 1st, 1995. A young pirate/mad scientist/biker/videogame dude named Tim Schafer was sitting alone in his chair in his lair. He was planning his next masterpiece while reading a book about Mexican folklore, watching tv, thinking about his next project and talking on the phone about movie adaptations of his works with Tim Burton (all at the same time, he's a genious). SUDDENLY, the ANCIENT legacy STRUCK again! He understood the meaning of the word but was unable to contain it! His tv caught on fire and exploded in the middle of the Bohemian Rhapsody music video. The last thing he heard before he himself exploded beautifully against the night sky was: "Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the FANDANGO?"(Please, don't try to imagine that scene. I'm not responsible for any imploded brains). That line may have been what ultimately saved the awesome dude from TOTAL DESTRUCTION. This incident was later codenamed 2HB.

There are many differing accounts on how he actually survived. Some say he learned to reassemble his molecular structure at the last minute but the awesomest answer must be that he actually visited the Land of the Dead! How he got out, we may never know. Still, he was able to contain the power of Grim, return to the Land of the Living just in time to headbang to the climax of the song and create Grim Fandango, the greatest videogame ever created and the only form that could contain the power of the superfreaky legacy.

Now, after 10 years of Grim Fandango we must understand how lucky we are. The game is still mondo cool and Tim Schafer is still using his powers for good (i.e. creating excellent games). Still, one has to wonder what would have that hyphotethical "Grim Fandango – The Hitler Version" been like. Sounds like a barrel of laughs to me!'

-- submitted by Jeo

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I love this entry. This was a close one to win, for me, and not just because of the phrase "mondo cool," which does wonderful things to my willy.

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It's very cinematic. I really like the explosion, and the way that Sasu has matched Queen to Grim Fandango is very clever (and very true -- I never thought of that link before).

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It's a really crazy nonsense sort of entry, but yeah, it does actually make a lot of sense as well, especially if you're high on fizzy pop and it;s 3 in the morning.

Next page: some more entries!

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