Warning: Spirou may not be as beautiful or useful as Spiro Foil.
In the maybe two years since I found Edge Emulation and realized I could show as many roms per page as I wanted by editing the URL up to early 2005, I had passed by Spirou many times while in search of other games I'd inevitably hate. I always assumed it was one of those unplayable giant robot games based on a randomly titled Japanese anime of the same name, or possibly some retarded Korean pirate hack of Twinbee Rainbow Bell Adventure to look like it has Spiro the Salamander in it, with an appropriately pirate-hacky misspelling. Now, of course, I know, it is both about a randomly named character and as bad as a braindamaged bootleg (It has long been my opinion that legs, booted or otherwise, should not have brains at all, just to prevent that sort of thing from happening).
It is made by the same Infogrames dream-team as the Tintin video games, as well as those for several other French-language comic books in the early 1990s. They share many common themes. In good grames, the player character does extraordinary things. However, in Infogrames, the character does ordinary things, and struggles at it. The biggest difference is that I no longer insist on 128x128 pixel images when I construct these pages.
Like any good Infograme, Spirou begins with a language-select. At least, if we're willing to imagine that there is a good Infograme somewhere, we might also assume that it too has a language-selecting screen. It is interesting to note that, while Spirou comics are decent sellers in Italian, Danish and Dutch, the video game is not available to them. One language the comics don't sell well in, for they are not even translated and sold in the countries of? English. English, as in: Option two in the image above here. And I really want to read them. I'm not even making a bad attempt at sarcasm: I sincerely wish to know what is going on here:
Alas, I fear learning to read French and ordering this tome online (or learning Spanish and siding with the immigrants) is the only way I'll ever find out why Spirou pulls his pants up so high. However, the forty-ish greater american dollars of purchase plus oversea-shipping is a negligible price to pay to bring such knowledge to the throbbing masses. Or something. The best I could do for free was this video game, which probably cost whoever owned the actual cartridge around ten dollars more than I wasn't willing to pay for the better thing.
Truly, it fascinates me, that these books, which have been around longer than Asterix, have never been in English. Consider that the film Un Indien Dans la Ville was not only released with English subtitles, it was remade a few years later as Jungle 2 Jungle with an all Amelican cast, despite being one of the worst ideas for a movie to ever not be thought of here (though the utterly pointless and incorrect 2 numeral was all 'us'), and movies cost a lot more money to make than rewording a few dialogue baubles does. Two months from now I'm going to be completely over Spirou and ashamed I wrote this.
It almost seems as if there is a mystic curse in place that will strip the strips of their continued likability if ever they are available in English. All other languages are welcome, though, like German, Italian and Danish. Babelfish isn't even available in Danish. This might explain why the game, which, as I've said, is in English, is notably un-likable.
A company called Fantasy Flight attempted to release translated editions of several Europe comics in North Amelica a bit over 10 years ago, but it (or rather he) kept getting jerked around by American companies making up rules and demanding money. None of the series' were finished and what was done was visible to very few people. Now Fantasy Flight makes trading card and x-sided dice games. A shock that comes as an alternative to comic books.
While not the inventor of the character, the person largely responsible for any fame Spirou might be said to have is Reginald Frapwutch Franquin, who was assigned to write and illustrate the series relatively early on, in 1947. Unlike Hergé (Tintin's author, you dipe), who had the luxury of dying before seeing the worst possible thing that could happen to what he'd spent most of his life on (I refer to the video game, but there's always the chance for some sudden deviantart phenomenomenom taking its place) Franquin somehow held out until 1997, meaning he probably knew about this. Maybe it killed him. Or maybe he was executed for murdering Orville Redenbacher in 1995.
This is the picture for the first scroll of introductory text. It's mostly non-idiotic.
Ah, now definitely we are getting somewhere.
I guess April O'Neil isn't the worst dressed in New York City anymore.
Really? Would they do it for a Scooby Snack? Count Champignac being a great man I will not dispute until later.
Why does SPIP need to be mentioned? Why is SPIP even there, in front of the bodiless onlookers? And SPIP, you couldn't have put out your cigarette before appearing? Do you think I enjoy typing SPIP? Spip spip spip?
Are they sitting on the floor or standing in an invisible mosh pit?
Notice that the audience doesn't look any more surprised than before. I guess after seeing the buildings visible from the water reposition themselves to also be visible from the windows inside this other building, they went into shock and haven't been concious of a single other thing that's happened since then.
Ehhh, all right. I'll read the manifesto later.
To my knowledge, SPIP has no relation to fellow attitudinal Belgian squirrel, Skunny, which is good, but for all I know they could be great friends.
Why do I get the impression that Fantasio's idea of fishing for information involves an actual fishing rod? You are correct, because of the bow tie.
Along the way, he also has to collect hats similar to his own because... well, when's the last time you saw a store which sold those? (August 19, 1947)
If you were a dog with perpetual anger-slants over your eyes, just awoken from your sleep, would you go after the rodent really close to you who probably caused it
But worry not, there are still plenty of unlikely to occur and unlikelier to hurt traps ahead:
It's not like the game simply lacked good source material; although I've never seen the contents,
just this cover picture alone tells me something a great deal more interesting / amusingly offensive could be happening.
bird off a power cable which, additionally, he's puny enough to be fully supported by.
I think it would have been neat if in the next level Spirou had to ride around on Spip, or even better, fight to the death. Naturally, Infogrames wasn't about to let something I think would have been "neat" happen.
Also, Toyshop 1 should not be confused with
TOY'S package store, the business outside which the previous level ended.
The journey through Toyshop 1 is much like what we've seen so far: Questionable, aimless, repetitive and with horrible collision detection. It is also much like what we will continue to see.
I wonder if there's a lot of demand for stuffed dolls in the 10 centimeter tall and under range.
Levels 2 and 3 both have the same graphics and same music, sort of like levels 3 and 4 in Earthworm Jim. Right; the very worst levels.
While doing this comes the first time Spirou has to slide for any reason:
Get used to this. It happens a lot.
I guess we're lucky the factory is disused, then. Otherwise its facilities would be assisting in the task.
Howdy. I bid you the warmest welcome to level 4. Even though they have free access to the personal belongings of someone with enough disposable income to spend his time developing an anti-shrink formula, they still can't afford a forping subway ticket. I guess this month's ticket budget went into Fantasio's round trip to France. Oh, and his subway fare too, I suppose, since once again he's nowhere to be found.
Yes, THAT'S the sort of graffiti you see on a new york subway train. In 1995.
In this level, Spirou suddenly has a gun. I don't know where our Champignac chasing cheesedoodle got it from, but that doesn't matter since it doesn't do anything.
Welcome to N.Y.C. Where were we before?
I'm surprised there's enough water pressure to work any of the machines in here, what with all the punctured pipes. That's probably why the place was disused!
Next is The Roof Level, AKA The Kite Level, in which Spirou spends a lot of time jumping on identical, steel reinforced, self-propelled kites, and also falling off them because of the mediocre programming.
"yep, it's rainin' alright."
I think you'd best proceed no further, Spirou. I have it on good authority that nobody beats the wiiiz.
One more familiar sight, the Chrysler building.
where am I going, anyway? there was no transition from the "factory" level into this one.
Ah ha, a "boss" battle. Our kite-climbing kook fires his gun about 30 times, jumps occasionally, and the static, unanimated orange machine slowly descends behind that foreground layer...
Also note: frozen lightning bolt scrolling with the background.
Alas, there is more. Dare you proceed?
Sometime in 2006