From 2010 to 2014 Richard Cobbett wrote Crapshoot, a column about rolling the dice to bring random obscure games back into the light. This week, a Russian adventure that’s not as porny as it sounds, but whose surrealism might make you gag in a very different way…
Sorry. Normally I try to find something interesting and a little bit unusual for you. This week though, I’m afraid we’re going to have to resort to that most tired and cliched of gaming staples: secret agents struggling with sexual inadequacy after being bitten on the penis by a poisoned penguin.
And they say zombies are overplayed.
So… yeah. GAG: The Impotent Mystery. It’s a rare example of a Russian adventure that got an international release, but only technically. It seems that there were only about 20 copies sent out—three for the Dutch, seven for the English, nine for the Germans, and one for the Dark Lord on his dark throne, in the land of Mordor where the shadows lie. If more people have come into contact with any sticky part of it, it’s because one of its minigames was cut out and released as freeware—an erotic Tetris clone. Erotic as in naked people for blocks, not sexy blocks. Unless you’re into that.
Nothing like that happens in GAG of course. There doesn’t even seem to be any actual nudity in the English version, though apparently there is some in the original Russian one. (Edit: Apparently not, though there was a soft-core expansion—no comment—called Gary’s Vacation.)
It’s… ah… an odd adventure, to put it mildly. The title screen alone is head-tilting, as a naked woman in silhouette slides back and forth over a line, before being knocked off it by the falling game logo and turning into a waving penguin. With me so far? Good. It won’t last.
From there, we find out that the main character, Gary Tusker, is a member of an agency charged with, and I quote, the Prevention of Sexual And Religious Perversions. From there, a spooky introduction more suitable for a horror game kicks off, with graves and zombies and scantily clad ladies being beamed around… and then talking to demon creatures about plans to kidnap a girl called the Marquese. Then our hero wakes up and has a hallucination based on Doom in which he blows up his telephone with a rocket launcher, and also is a cut-rate virginal Fabio whose hobbies include using a telescope to peek at and film girls in other buildings, and porn. And that is all.
That is just the introduction! Watch it and the first area here.
It gets weirder. Go to bed, and you can sleep, a narrator intoning that “Gary slept. But he knew he should wake up at the first click of the mouse. That was a habit developed over the years.” Instead, it takes a couple, after which he groans “OK, stop that clicking, I’m up already!” You can also opt to have a wet dream, which consists of him dreaming about a race between some racing cars, tribal warriors, elephants, rhinos and buses.
The TV—tuned to Horny News, as if there’s any other kind—has an announcement about the game’s designer being declared the Sexiest Man In The World. His name incidentally is pronounced “Cop off” by at least the English dub. Narrative determinism, ho? Maybe! Then there’s a mini-game where you stab flies on a table with a fork because… yummy protein?
Also, he owns these…
The actual plot kicks off with a call from Gary’s boss. “If I never hear from you again, scumbag, it’ll be too soon,” she growls, despite having phoned him. She assigns him to the Marquese case, responding to his question about whether she’s hot with, “What’s it to you, limpo?” Also, the phone/fax machine burps out print-outs because… I don’t know. On the wall, flies are having sex. One of them poops on Gary’s diploma. You also have to cook the flies you already gathered in a microwave.
Oh, and this is in the toilet. If you get the reference, award yourself a point.
Anyway, all detectives have helpers. Gary’s is Lao, the kind of Chinese stereotype that… oh, I have no words. Not only does he have a ‘comedy’ accent, his face has been run through Kai’s Power Goo or similar just to really get its racism on. Anyway, he swaps voyeur porn for items, including “North Korean Passport”, “Globe Of Taiwan” and “Huge Pack Of Dodgy Second Hand Luminous Condoms.” What he actually provides are a gynaecologist’s ID and some house keys. You can also flick through a porn mag where the topless ladies are censored by a penguin and I think I just went insane.
Tags: #Crap Shoot