To explore what it means to be human, Ben and Tao play with a pussy - a personified cat with an AI drone sidekick - while befriending wannabe artistic bipedal robots in feline post-apocalyptic, post-Homo sapiens adventure tale, Stray. It’s not all highfalutin social commentary though, they do get to remote detonate mutant bacteria with a light gun strapped to their teeny weeny cat vests. Analysis includes discussion of dystopian storytelling and tropes, the role of animals in games, children’s storybooks, whether art is a uniquely human venture, Tom Hanks, prison escapes in games, plus Ben shares why he’s not fond of cats or domesticated animals in general. As usual, some major story spoilers towards the end of the pod. If you’re going to play it, it’s recommended you do so before listening.
Content Warning: PEGI 12. Cursing. Animal cruelty. Egregious cockney accents.
All music for Stray was composed by Yann van der Cruyssen
The collective noun for cats is, apparently, a ‘Clowder’. Doesn’t roll off my tongue either. The collective noun Ben used, ‘Posse’, is ‘a group of people armed with legal authority’, for instance, policemen.
The Road is a dystopian novel by Cormac McCarthy. There’s nothing ‘basic’ about it. Ben regrets the term!
The book Tao is clutching for is not ‘The Earth Remains’, an entirely different and unrelated novel by Shelley Burchfield, but sci-fi classic, Earth Abides, a 1949 American post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by George R. Stewart. It tells the story of the fall of civilization from deadly disease and the emergence of a new culture with simpler tools.
Kurt Zouma’s personal contact details are… not really going to be published here. That was a joke. Read the room, or alternatively, this article about his crimes against cats.
Here’s details on the prevention of migraines using vitamin B2, riboflavin.
Machinarium was not from Annapurna Interactive, it was Amanita Design. It was released in 2009.
Tom Hank’s new movie is called A Man Called Otto
Prison escape features in Fable 1 and 3, but it’s also a story element in Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, The Witcher 2, Metal Gear Solid, Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Deus Ex, Dragon Age: Origins, Resistance 3, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Dishonored to name just a few.
Machinarium soundtrack by Tomas Dvorak
DePresno ft. Liv Dawson - Gold
Half Life 2
Vinnie Jones and Ross Kemp in Extras
Ocean’s 11 and Ocean’s 12 soundtracks, by David Holmes
The Quarantine Zone (20 Years Later) from The Last of Us OST by Gustavo Santaolalla
The Sixth Sense
LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring
John Prine - Pretty Good
The Lion King
Eddie Vedder’s ‘Tuolumne’ from Into The Wild
Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2
Fallout 4 OST - Main Theme
The Police - Every Breath You Take
Alone Too Long - Daryl Hall and John Oates
Shawshank Redemption OST
Escape from Alcatraz
Blaktrix - Ironfist
A Man Called Otto
Alex Jones ranting
Squeeze - Cool for Cats
Goat Simulator trailer
Halo Infinite - Zeta Halo
The Eternal Cylinder OST
Cats and Dogs - Dr Syntax and Pete Cannon