Live from RGIF it's Saturday Night

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J.D. Berry

Nov 17, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/17/00
The following "reviews" of some of the Comp 2000 games are parodies of
characters and sketches from NBC's "Saturday Night Live" show.


Dennis Miller's SNL Update on "1.2.3..."

Good evening, and what can I tell you?

Locals have reported seeing a vaguely monstrous stalker roaming the
city streets...
<picture of Leona Helmsley appears in the background>

Wrong picture, of course. I did say "vaguely."

<picture of YOU, the player character, entering the back alley cafe>

Ya know, folks, I don't know what Harvard MBA felt that building a
Starbucks in a back alley would eventually turn into the next Studio
54, but I digress…

<black and white screen shot of a man walking the plank from an old
pirate movie>
I haven’t seen a shanghaiing of a player into a plot this blatant since
Dr. Blood. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Babaganoosh, and the
atmosphere was quite chilling, but I had more choices looking through
Henry Ford’s catalog.

<picture of Sergeant Bob>
Car 54, where are you???

Oooh, oooh! <Dennis succumbs to laughing with the audience>

Ya know, cha cha, if I ask a fellow law enforcement professional about
murder and he SMILES at me, I gotta think someone's ready for a gold
watch and 50% base pay plus health benefits.

Anyway, that big gold watch behind me tells me time is running short.
Basically, there were evocative scenes but less responsiveness and
motivation than a Times Square hooker...

That’s the review, and I am out of here.

Chris Farley interviews "Ad Verbum"

Chris: Hi. I’m Chris Farley and this is the <nervously, hesitantly>
Chris Farley show. With me today is the most awesome game of the Comp,
Ad Verbum.

Ad Verbum: Thanks, really, Chris. Thanks.

<awkward silence>

Chris: <embarrassed> Um, remember that scene where the player was
stuck in the S room. And he couldn't get the sofa out of there,
because he couldn't think of an S verb? Remember that?

AV: <as if it were a trick question or something> Yes?

Chris: That was awesome. <gets psyched for a second, then composes
himself back to nervous> Well, um... I’d like to do an imitation of
the distracted figure with a huge bushy beard. "yes, Yes!!!"
<stumbles> Ohhhhhh. I’m such an IDIOT! I can't believe I DID that!

AV: Really, Chris, that was pretty good.

Chris: Aw, you're just saying that.

AV: No, really.

Chris: <embarrassed> Thanks, Ad Verbum.

<awkward silence>

Chris: Remember that pig? The pig with the toga? But you couldn't
communicate with the pig unless you knew his language? Remember that?

AV: <starting to get annoyed, but only in a way an adult would get
annoyed with a small child> Yeah?

Chris: That was awesome!

Chris: Um, there was something I needed to do... oh, yeah. Give the
final rating:

Chris: <trying to find the paper he wrote it on.> I am such an IDIOT.

Coffee Talk about "Metamorphoses", with Linda Richman

Welcome to Coffee Talk, I'm Linda Richman.

I was browsing the Jewish wine advice on Lisa Shea's site the
other day, and, of all things, I broke a nail <spit, spit> on a mouse
click and stumbled onto their interactive fiction website. Well, let
me tell you, I still don't know whether to go with Abarbanel or Carmel
Mizrachi for Hanukkah, but the text adventures these days are to die

Oh, there's this author, Emily Short?! If Barbra Streisand is the
buttah of singing, oy is Ms. Short the cream of room descriptions...

Oh, oh, I'm getting fahrklempt... Give me a moment. Here’s a topic
while I compose myself. Interactive fiction is neither interactive nor
fiction. Discuss.

I got shpilkes down to my tokhes playing Metamorphoses. I'd like to
think Babs would sing for the mp3 files to this game. Buttah, simply

Sure, I got a little utzed with what seemed to be another "I don’t know
who I am" appetizer, but the entree is simply mekhaye.

I'm rating this highly, but not the top spot, but only because Babs
herself didn't write it. The game is pure nakhes.

Craig and Ariana, Spartan (wannabe) cheerleaders at IF Comp 2000 and
reviewing "Being Andrew Plotkin"

<Both cheer enthusiastically>
You think there is <clap clap>
No way for you to not win <clap clap CLAP clap>
One thing is for sure <clap clap>
You ain't no Andrew Plotkin <clap clap CLAP clap>

Woo! Woo!!
<Both stop for a drink and a towel, but not before a few more spastic
arm and leg movements>

Craig: <catching breath> Say, Ariana, I played "Being Andrew Plotkin"
last night.

Ariana: <overly enthusiastic and trying to be hip> What was it like to
be the _Z_ man?

Craig: <cheering again>
Who's that coder with Spartan pride?
It's me! It's me!
<stops suddenly realizing a cheer is not appropriate>

... Anyway, I was cursing and recursing like you wouldn’t believe. I
was immersing myself in the nuances of parse_name, when I ended up in
a hedge. Then I...

<guest appearance, audience cheers>
Z: I don't want you losers any where NEAR my computer or even to PLAY
my games, let alone BE me. Understand?

Both: O-OK, Mr. Plotkin. <trying to gather a shred of dignity but
failing> Hey, good to see you again, too, Z!

Ariana: He seemed a little down.
Craig: You know what might lift his spirits?
Both: The perfect cheer!

"BAP" was cute but very dry
It's linear, it's linear, it's linear
Wait around or take invent'ry
Then waiting, then waiting, then hedging

The Rich-meister reviews "Enlisted!"

Rich: Enlisted! Enlist-a-reeno! Enlistorama! Virtual indentured
servitude! Enlisted!

Enlisted!: Hi, Rich. I’m making copies of the reviews with the Mark
VII robot.

Rich: Enlisted! Talkin' to the rich-meister! Robotolizer, make

Enlisted!: Um, yeah…

Rich: Enlisted! Jean-Claude Van Dussen! Dussen Bigalow, male
gigolo! Enlisted!

Enlisted!: Do you have anything constructive to say, any words of
praise or criticism?

Rich: Enlisted! Asking his brother to rate his game! Already told
him over the phone! Enlisted!

Samurai "Code"-Cracker

<Samurai enters, boots up the game, looks at it, tries a few commands,
gets frustrated, realizes he'll actually have to crack the code, pulls
out his katana, and chops the computer up into little bits>

Ahh—domaseki arogeko taipei san

Toonces--"The cat who could review text adventures"--reviews "Prodly
The Puffin"

Toonces: Meow Meow MEOW! Meowwwww MEOW meow, meow. Meow?

Toonces’ owner: "Oh, I see. He can review games, just not very well."

<Toonces is about to rate the game, when his car goes over a cliff>

The Anal-Retentive Game Reviewer introduces "Nevermore"

Hello, everyone. I'd like to break the game down into 4 concise and
integrated sections, each alphabetized, sub-alphabetized and, of
course, sorted by color:

Atmosphere: Chilling, horrifying, intense, wicked.

Experience: Annoying bits ("cawing" excessively frustrating), helpful
hints, macabre nightmare.

Gameplay: Alas, amiss 'bit, but not point. See "Writing".

Writing: Simply terrific.

As a side note, being careful of course not spill this into the main
review, I aced "Ad Verbum".

I rate this an
(8)—a very symmetrical number. Until next time, promptly.

Emily Litella reviews "Photopia"

I have to admit not understanding this one at first, in fact, I was a
little turned off by the colorful speech. Or was I turned on? Anyway,
I kept going and gradually became mesmerized by the plot’s weaving. By
the end I was...

<Larraine Newman interrupts> Emily, "Photopia" was in the 1998
Interactive Fiction Competition, NOT in 2000.


Never mind.

Ed Grimley reviews "What IF?"

Oh, dear, the review is today and I don’t know how to begin. I played
it, I truly did, in between my triangle practices. But did I miss
something? Miss something big? What if I pan it and it turns out to
be the next "Jigsaw". I'll look like a really big fool, I must say.

But what if it was just a collection of "from the mind of" essays that
one could access like hypertext? And what if Pat Sajak checks in
regularly to read the reviews and he reads mine and I influence his
play selection. So well so that he invites me to play on Wheel of
Fortune (he seems like a pretty decent guy, I must say.) But what if
he reacts poorly to my review? I'll be doomed as doomed can be, you

Thus, (no rating), just to be safe. It's back to my triangle practice.

Spade in Comp2000

"Desert Heat." I liked it when it was called "Life on Beal Street".
Interesting story idea and setting, but I felt like I had as many
decisions to make as Cindy Crawford does sashaying down a runway.

Charles Grodin's career continues to rocket. First there
was "Beethoven", then "Beethoven's 2nd". Now dust off that Oscar/XYZZY
for best NPC, as he plays the pet store owner in "Futz Mutz."

"Stupid Kittens".

Making "Asendent" is like an independent group of people making "Police
Academy 12". The question isn’t IF you could do it…

And those are all the reviews I've got time for…

The Pat Stevens Show starring Pat Stevens talks about "Dinner with

You know, ladies, I instantly identified with the main character. Four
hours of personal preparation is almost a given these days. I mean,
there's the pre-pre-bath, the pre-bath, and bath activities and then
it's time to get started getting ready! Back when I used to model, we
even added a pre-pre-pre-bath, but I’m starting to date MYSELF now,
girls, not Andre!

As a useful trivia bit, I remember hearing that Queen Elizabeth the
First bathed only once a month, and that was considered excessive!
Well, I hope for her sake she had DaVinci on her courtroom staff--her
makeup must have been an absolute BEAR. I won't even start on managing
her split-ends. Yeesh! Can you imagine, ladies?

Back to the review, now, though. The description didn't go into it
much, but I'd have to assume we were wearing something appropriate for
the occasion. Something Saks yet with a bit of Donna Karan that says
sophisticated but not stuffy. And you can't go wrong with black and

Did I get "lucky" at the end of the date? Well, that's not nearly as
interesting as how my mousse held up over the course of the evening. I
find if you sprinkle a little water during the application, you’ll end
up looking as glamorous as when you started.

Gotta run, but I'll be back next time with tips on how to eat rolls
without ruining your lipstick.

(You already know what I looked like on a 1-10 scale!)

Father Guido Sarducci covers "Jarod’s Journey"

How-a ya doin', folks? I-a thought it-a might-a be-a interestin'
visitin' da Holy Land, soakin' up da sights and sounds, ya know? But
it's-a expensive onna da priest's salary, and da bishop, he’s-a not
uppa onda frequent flyer ting. So wit' no money, I booted up dis
freeware game. Started playin'.

I can't-a say it-a rocked my alb off, but it-a did-a capture da mood
OK. Da only camels I was-a used to were-a dese cigarettes. I was-a
thinkin' if dey had "donkey" cigarettes would-a dey not-a go in your
mouth right away?

Anyway, often found-a myself quotin' back whadda da game wanted to
hear. Now dis is-a not-a problem. I myself canna recite catechism wit-
a da best of 'em. But, it's-a kinda like asking a man onna da camera
if he likes-a da Pepsi or Brand-B cola. If he wants-a da reward he's-a
gonna pick-a da Pepsi.

Dis game didn't-a exactly make-a me think-a too hard, eeder. But-a I-a
admire da effort put fort' widdin.

(Rating was given to Father Sarducci under "Confidentiality" laws)


Sent via
Before you buy.

Joe Mason

Nov 17, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/17/00
In article <8v3d76$evs$>, J.D. Berry wrote:
>Craig and Ariana, Spartan (wannabe) cheerleaders at IF Comp 2000 and
>reviewing "Being Andrew Plotkin"

For mentioning these devilspawns, you will be torn limb-from-limb and fed to
the wumpus.


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