Spring Thing ’09 – Josh Graboff’s The Milk Of Paradise!

April 30, 2009

(I first published this without the jump cut, because it’s friggin’ my bedtime.  Apologies to anyone who had to dance around spoilers!)

There’s got to be a joke about the last name Graboff, but I’m not sure what it is because I’m not a junior-high bully.  I know enough about junior-high bullies to be fairly confident it involves accusations of homosexuality and somebody’s mom, though, and also that it probably makes no sense.

The phrase “and also”:  is it redundant?  You make the call!  Should that colon have gone inside the quotes?  I don’t know!  It’s terrible!  I should not be allowed to have a blog!

Anyway, the Milk of Paradise.  Sounds like a good thing.  Let’s play it.

This paragraph is in the service of food RSS. I would wish to have the authorisation in order to I have the window open [anti] the air conditioning because it is to be too much boiling hot in order to it has the window open very at an early date now and goes a piece mental without clean air. I haven’t reported this anywhere but here because I’? m passive-aggressive.

[spoilers start here]

Shall I present to you the fulfilment of your heart’s desire?  Gaze you now upon the fine marble quarried from the gut of the earth!  [and so on in this vein]
The opening paragraph cracked me up.  Had to read it three times before I realized it hadn’t actually been run through Babelfish.  Oh, and guess what the command line says right before the prompt?

Oh, my Khan, what does it please you to do?
It pleaseth me being you ask are me that, unidentified servile being who are probably persuasioning female and boobular!  At most less indeed can such be hoping!

You know what I’m going to do now?  I’m going to eat hot meat.  Damn right.  This game so far is awesome.

You drink down the mulled wine, my Khan, and, as it ever is, it is delicious.  But this time it does not remind you of your days as Prince of Markhoumb because your memories seem to be fleeing you even as you try to approach them.
Hmm, it would appear that there’s more going on here than just a dude sitting in a room eating hot meat.  This is probably good, although the Just Hot Meat game would be novel.

> x goblet
This fine goblet once belonged to your father, my Khan, the man who you murdered in cold blood.  But you don’t remember that, do you?
I might have forgotten that, yeah, except that you keep mentioning it very casually every time I examine this goblet.  I guess this is what Memento would’ve been like if Post-Its had not yet been invented.

See how he steps into your Dome with warm towels that have been heated by the breath of virgins?
…no shit, breath of virgins?  I usually just throw mine in the dryer.

He almost looks like a eunuch, though he is not.
I realize that eunuchs probably had particular styles of dress or shaved heads or whatever, but come on, that’s funny.

Nope, the narrator is not a Nubile Young Thing but some dude named Ja’far (wasn’t he a Disney villain?) who tells me he and I are “cut from the same cloth,” even if I “do not yet understand why.”  Interesting!

> touch avizah
Keep your hands to yourself!
Insolent default response!  This is no way to speak to the Khan!  I shall make upon you the floggings!

Ja’far wants me to kill Baba.  I don’t think I like that idea very much.  I don’t know if that matters.

> kill ja’far
You have no reason to kill this person, my Khan, and you may need them later on.
I strongly suspect you of bias.

…huh, okay, Big Reveal time.  Ja’far says he is me, and that the reason I don’t remember any of these things is because they haven’t happened yet, but mark his words, he’s going to make them happen just as soon as he gets around to it, and am I with him?  I tell him no, then wake up in my horrible apartment just in time to go to my horrible customer service job.  I wonder what would’ve happened if I’d said yes?

Oh, if I say yes, I wake up and I’m Genghis Khan.

I don’t… I don’t know how to feel.  Let me process.

Okay, there is definitely some sort of point being made here about ruthlessness and ambition and acceptable losses.  I am not exactly sure what this point is, being primarily stuck on the losing(?) ending.  I mean, yeah, pursuing one’s own advancement at any cost makes just as much of an impact on one’s success in the modern world as it did back in the whenever it was*, but there’s got to be some middle ground between being trapped in a shitty job and friggin’ murdering your father. If this was the point, maybe it would’ve been better served by a winning(?) ending along the same lines, like you wake up in a nice apartment with Italian leather sofas just in time to go to your job as vice-president of sales and kitten rape.

Other than that, the game was nicely written and very very short.  The loss-of-memory hook was intriguing and sort of creepy, and the Big Reveal, while not oh-my-God-I-just-shit-my-pants level, was interesting and something I don’t think I’ve seen elsewhere.  I was a bit thrown by it, though, because I was expecting the game to be longer.  Things are whatever length they are, sure, but the mystery and atmosphere could’ve benefitted from more time to stew in their respective hot meat dumplings.

Wasn’t a bad game, though, even if I didn’t quite get the point.  Everyone should play it just to experience virgins breathing on their towels.

* I could look that up quick and pretend like I knew, but that would be such a lie.  I did recognize Temujin as Genghis Khan’s birth name, though, thanks to Larry Gonick’s Cartoon History of the Universe, Volume Three.  Buy a copy today!  Also, if you’re the person I bought Volume One from on Amazon, like, last summer, feel free to actually send it to me!  I won’t tell anybody!

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