So, this Sunday, it's the final regular episode of Mr Biffo's Found Footage, which will no doubt be a relief to those of you who have either hated it, or couldn't be arsed with it after the first episode.
For the rest of you, it's your last chance to have your senses assaulted by glitchy VHS footage, puerile nonsense, and a grand sci-fi conspiracy. This last regular ep sets the stage for next week's standalone finale, The Trojan Arse Protocol, which wraps up the story - or introduces you to it, if you haven't been arsed - in needlessly ambitious style.
Even if the series thus far hasn't been your bag, please give the finale a go. But first... Goujon Day! Sunday night. YouTube. 9pm.
If you would like to appear here, or you've something you'd like me to give some attention to in our occasional Plug Zone, please send your filthy emails early to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Right - it's like this, see? Some expensive cinemas fire smells at you from the seat in front. When console manufacturers (Parker Brothers, Tomy) catch up, which odours and sensory enhancements will they be using and how will they be delivered?
I’m currently using teeth to augur dog racing. I have four teeth, which I found outside the haberdasher. Casting them into burning sage oil typically augurs a number and a colour – number 7, brindle, for example – but lacks the resolution to produce race, time, or location. I was wondering if you or your readers could send me their teeth in exchange for a cut of the profits?
With all of the intensive study I've done on Found Footage in the last year (you may have noticed), I think I've come to understand what it is that I love about your writing style and why it's always intrigued me.
While reading the fake Digi Ads, with things like Benson's Brown Honey, it made me think back to Gossi the Dog and the terrible treatment he alluded to and occasionally stated outright. It's the fact that there's something not quite right about any of it, it's otherworldly.
Bizarre things are talked about as though they're normal and every day. There always seems to be more going on at the edges, there are loose threads to pull, curtains that invite you, dare you, to pull them back and see what's back there. It always felt like it was coming from another world, probably something we shouldn't be seeing.
Found Footage shows us that world in gory detail and of course provokes yet more questions. Your writing is never passive to me, it's never been something to simply read/watch, consume and move on. It stays with me, the imagery is never anything less than evocative in the truest sense. It inspires me to try to fill the gaps, make connections, roleplay through expanded narrative possibilities.
With Star Wars, back when we only had the classic trilogy, my mind would wander in the same way to fill in the obvious blanks there.
Before we got the EU which laid out every last minute detail. It was a world you could live in, whole stories were suggested just by locations and events that were mentioned. Stuff like The Spice Mines of Kessel or The Clone Wars for example.
I feel your world captures the best of that magic. It was only this morning (Tuesday) with you and few other folks in our community talking about The Last Jedi trailer, that I even thought about the fact we've got another film coming up.
THAT is the best way I can describe the impact this has had on me.
While I love looking for the answers, celebrate when I find them or they're presented outright, I suppose; I hope there's always something left to imagine on.
The level of prop/set dressing detail on the Finale was far more exhaustive than it needed to be; I even wrote Xenoxxx memos and other paperwork which will never been seen on screen. I think, hopefully, that it still helps the level of immersion. Can't wait for you to see it.
Confessions of a First Generation Gamer’ triggered something in me! Whatever happened to the RTS?
Well... I sort of know what happened. They were really good (Warcraft 2, Command & Conquer, Total Annihilation, and then they got really crap and Westwood got shitcanned (C&C Generals), and then they turned into MOBAs. StarCraft 2 fits somewhere into this jigsaw: the last ‘proper’ RTS in my view. I don’t think there ever will be a StarCraft 3, or a Warcraft 4.
I think it’s more the death of C&C that I regret: the first few of the games in both the Tiberium and Red Alert universes were genre-defining spectacles, the latter stuff becoming played out rubbish with Page 3 girls in all the cinematics. Was I alone in really liking the story of those early games? Einstein going back in time and killing Hitler?
Oh well. Who’s up for crowdfunding a classic RTS with dodgy FMV cinematics and the same units reskinned on both sides?
(Not me! I’m just going to play Red Alert forever.)
I don’t want to write this letter, but I saw a request from you that we should write a letter whether we want to or not. I don’t, as previously discussed, so here it is.
The problem with this is that I don’t really have anything to write about. Currently the only thing on my mind is how I need to go for a wee but am instead writing a letter. Hopefully I’ll be finished with the letter soon so I can go and sort that out.
Typing on an iPad screen as well so forgive me if that goes a bit awry, especially with the new iOS 11 keyboard where pulling downwards on the keys unleashes alternative characters, the main upshot of which is that words I write that end with -ing invariably end up with an 8 in them (“search8ng”, for example) which I then have to go and manually fix.
This bladder situation isn’t getting any better, I can tell you. It’s clearly distracting me from the point of this letter which, I’m sure you’ll recall, was about how I didn’t want to write a letter and didn’t have anything to write about.
Nope, I’m sorry but the call of the wild is proving too powerful. I should end on a powerful, thought provoking statement.
Don’t write letters that you don’t want to and that have no subject.
Read the title.
And they're white. In a blue thing.
I don't have one and if I were offered one I'd send it away. Because I'm hard core.
They make my mouth curl at one edge.
All of the songs in Found Footage have been fantastic so far, and it's great that you've been putting them up as individual videos. I've found that they're a good way to introduce people to the show - giving them quick taste of something weird and catchy. Do you have any plans to compile them into a playlist?
There are a couple of new songs in this week's final regular ep. One of them I'm slightly nervous about because it was written this week, and isn't really funny - so might be a bit of a jarring tonal shift - but watching the news coming out of Hollywood wasn't making me feel very funny.
1. As a more mature game player (no offence intended), what do you value more in new games, originality or quality of implementation of existing concepts?
2. I went to see Blade Runner 2049 last Friday and I thought that it was brilliant. When you consider that it is a sequel of sorts to one of the most iconic films ever it is a titanic achievement to not only be a worthy follow-up but also to possess its own voice and style. Some of the visuals are truly incredible. Unfortunately it succeeds, as the original did, in not making any money (at time of writing).
This made me think of the Westwood PC game, which, to me, is a classic of its genre and is still highly enjoyable today, if you can make it work on a modern computer. While it isn't an adaptation of an existing property, it must surely be one of the best games-of-the-film ever. Did you ever try it and if so, what was your opinion of it? What games would you say we're other great adaptations of films/books?
3. Are you ever surprised that no console manufacturer, of the major ones, that is, has ever tried to use Android or a similarly available operating system? An open-minded console by a major manufacturer could be revolutionary in the industry. Ouya was a great idea held back by poor hardware and a lack of funding.
2. Yes, I did play that Blade Runner game. It looked and sounded amazing, but I remember getting very bored with it very quickly. It might even have been the point at which I slightly fell out of love with the point-and-click genre.
3. Uhhh... in all honesty, I have never given that any degree of thought. Like, at all. Not even for a second. Not even now you've mentioned it.
Thanks to Found Footage, I was barely concerned when Goujon John appeared promoting holiday sickness claims. He is the both disease and cure - good for business.
Then, the closer I looked, it became clear that this entire advertisement had spilled out from another dimension. How else could one stock photograph of the runs be so incomprehensibly wrong?
"My trousers are around my ankles. Are you ready to take the photograph?"
"No, unbolt the toilet from the floor, stretch them around the bowl, then slip your feet back through them."
"The leg holes are too small. What now?"
"Cut out the inside legs."
When I’m not working for a living, spending time with my family or playing games, I like to play guitar.
I try and wear as much brown as possible, stick an abalone rosette around my naval and strum myself along with my favourite songs (wife’s shoes).
None of that is reliable apart from this - I like to play guitar.
I’m sure you know lots of guitar players and some of them no doubt are a bit obsessed with instruments. I’m one of they-there-them ones, at least I was up until quite recently when I decided to build (I didn’t drill it or anything… erm, I guess I was the picker?) a perfect guitar. Subjectively so, quite right, but that’s all that concerns me.
It’s based on a Fender Telecaster but has one humbucker (magnet thingy) in the bridge (keeps strings on at the body end), 1 volume knob (self-explanatory) and, most excitingly of all - an unfinished neck (it’s completed, but it has no lacquer on it) made from ROASTED MAPLE. This is a superb thing because of these things:
1 - It looks mighty cool.
2 - It smells like maple syrup (really it does).
3 - It’s stiffer and less likely to warp or bow with humidity.
4 - It doesn’t need a finish on it to protect it and so it’s more resonant and feels gorgeous - like a freshly shaved Elton John.
5 - The tone it lends the instrument is loud and woody and it’s more fun to play because it really responds.
PS. I welcome any questions but here it is:
I love the Nintendo Entertainment System.
I love most everything about it; I even love the fact that’s it a “system”; like in those ‘merican movies when they talk about not messing up the settings on their system (car stereo)…
Anyway, with all the fuss about the also ran SNES, I thought I’d do my own tribute to my precious NES (P-NES) by making a collage for 10 of it’s classic games.
You’ll notice that I left out the big one - The Legend of Zelda.
I had some ideas but I couldn’t bring myself to do it!
And we’re off:
No.1 Ice Climber
Not a bad game… not brilliant either.
This game, well, this image at least, got the ’snow’ ball rolling. I was bored on Sunday waiting for my wife and kids to get ready to go out and I gots to thinking about my old art teacher from 2ndry skule. He didn’t like me much because I never took things very seriously and one day he placed a blank piece of paper before me and asked me what I could see…
Erm… a blank piece of paper, sir? (Ironically taking it facetiously seriously).
NO! See, Dean, you have no imagination - when I look at it I see a white cat in a snow storm.
I saw his point but still couldn’t make out the cat… probably like those old 3D images covered in colorised noise and W00T there it is. Whatever happened to them?
Anyway, Sunday morning. So I’m staring at a white screen and reminiscing and then Brrrrrr Ice Climber.
Yeah, I got carried away and over-egged (lNogged) it a bit but it works… hopefully!
No.2 Bubble Bobble
I spent a term drawing Bub and Bob in art. He hated them and told me to be more ambitious. I wound him up by drawing some of the baddies too!
Do you know how to tell which one is Bub and which is Bob? It’s easy if you remember that Bub is green.
Yeah, I thought I’d stick it to the art teacher man and think outside the box for this one. Sorry if it’s too weird or something. His fault.
No.3 Double Dragon
Loved this game in the arcade - remember queuing up to have a go on it as these two men were there pumping money up it all the way to completion. Finally got a go and loved it.
Always thought it was a bit nasty seeing the woman being punched in the stomach and then fighting your brother to the death at the end for her ‘hand’ but you know…. it was different back then.
Favourite thing about D.D. was The Hulk and Mr T - obviously!
Billy and Jimmy!!
You know how you tell which one is which? Nor me!
No.4 Ghosts ’n Goblins
Absolutely freaking loved this game because of the music. It wasn’t half hard though, eh? Brutally so but I always went back for more.
I don’t think this collage is very funny but I loved the colours too much to disregard it like faeces. I think the look on the damsel’s face saves it but… what does this imaginationless n’er do well know?
No.5 Punch Out
Great game but can you guess which movie I stole the image from?
This was a bit of a bastard to make but still had it knocked up in good time.
Hear that, Mr arty-farty-man?
No.6 Balloon fight
Great game this; excellent on Nintendoland, too.
Shit collage, though, but I love the guy that looks a bit like Will Ferell’s face (not all of him)… you know, like the drummer out the Chili Peppers. Do you know how you tell which one is which? Sunglasses.
My wife was sat next to me watching TV when I was doing this and she looked at the screen and asked, in her own words, “what the fuck are you looking at that for?!”
I saw an opportunity and…. “oh, nothing, just… they look so fit and strong… could probably lift up a car!”
I’m going to carry this on by buying her some weights for Christmas… and steroids…. My ’troids. Haemorrhoid.
No.8 Excite Bike
Really cool little game and amazingly influential.
Ok, I know, I know; I was bit lazy on this one but if it works, it works! Makes me laugh, anyway.
No, I won’t try harder!
No.9 Super Mario Bros.
The big kahuna! Do you remember the 1st time you found a warp pipe? I nearly exploded with excitement.
Okay, went a bit weird again but I enjoyed playing with the idea that the whole thing was just two kids whacked out of their mind on psychotropics.
Do you know how you tell Mario from Luigi? Ron Jeremy.
No.10 Donkey Kong
I’m so glad this game is called Donkey Kong and not Monkey Kong. Never really enjoyed playing it, though.
I was going for a King Kong sympathy for the beast vibe. May have nailed it too hard, though, because it’s quite dark and menacing really. Ho hum.
And that concludes my tribute - Thanks!
You see, it takes a long time to read and sub-edit all the letters we get, and the ones we like getting best are the more concise ones. So... I love getting letters for the Digi Friday Letters Page, but please... please... for the sake of my health and sanity, let us not confuse letters with blog posts, as I am at the arse-end of a year of making Found Footage, and my energy reserves are all but spent.
Please, Dean. Puh... please? Other than that... yeah, good letter.