Pixel Vision
Pixel Vision
E48 The Eternal Cylinder
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E48 The Eternal Cylinder

The big wheel keeps on turning.

The big wheel keeps on turning
On a simple line, day by day
The earth spins on its axis
One man struggle while another relaxes
~ Massive Attack

Ben and Tao are on a roll, fleeing the all flattening, deadening turn of the great wheel of time - or not time, just a massive, physics defying concrete cylinder crushing everything in its path for all eternity - aka The Eternal Cylinder. Your hosts try to make sense of the allegories therein, pondering metaphors and surrealism, story narration, procedurally generated landscapes, the perks of multiplayer gaming, and when an animal’s trunk is not a trunk but a snoot. As usual the game’s ending is outlined with some spoilers, but given the nature of the story, the gameplay impact would be minimal.

Content Warning: PEGI 12. Swearing. Ranting. One offensively audible clip from the Teletubbies.

Clarifications:

  • The UK’s Teletubbies narrator was Tim Whitnall. This is a seriously disturbing show with an adult’s eye.

  • Stephen Fry explains the story behind the ‘Pocketed It’ compilation. (TL;DR - he stumbled over the phrase while narrating the Harry Potter audiobooks so JK Rowling inserted it into every subsequent book).

  • Ben enjoyed this take by Lewis Gordon of Vice: “I couldn’t help but look back towards the gigantic cylinder, an image nearly bursting with allegorical possibilities. In a way, we’re all the tiny Trebhum, doing whatever we can to postpone our eventual annihilation. In another, perhaps we—and I mean this in the humanity-encompassing sense of the word—are closer to the cataclysmic rolling pin, flattening and destroying everything we encounter.” And this one too: “For this time of gigantic crises we find ourselves in—none more so than that concerning the environment—it’s a fitting allegory, a reminder of the power that resides in the collective, and that our differences are an asset, not a hindrance.” You can follow Lewis here if you haven’t yet abandoned Twitter to the vultures and ashes.

  • If you nostalgia hard on the Zoombinis reference, we recommend this video ‘deep dive’ into the game by GamesOnHardMode - it’s worth it for the comments alone:

  • According to his Wikipedia entry, Peter Molyneux did not have any involvement in Creatures, Tao’s memory playing up (again). It was created in the mid-1990s by English computer scientist Steve Grand.

Audio extracts:

  • Dance of the Knights by Sergei Prokofiev aka The Apprentice theme

  • Other tracks from The Apprentice by Dru Masters

  • Sir Alan Sugar, also his fictional secretary, whose real name is Samantha Moon, not ‘Frances’.

  • Left 4 Dead OST

  • Apex Legends OST

  • Outer Wilds OST

  • Void Bastards

  • Midsomer Murders

  • Stephen Fry - ‘pocketed it’ compilation

  • Baldur’s Gate 2

  • Chicago - If You Leave Me Now

  • Blues Brothers - Everybody Needs Somebody to Love

  • David Cronenberg’s ‘Crimes of the Future’ trailer

  • Zoombinis

  • Creatures game SFX

  • Spore OST

  • Astroneer OST

  • Line of Duty TV Series - End Title theme

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Twitter: @pixelviz
Email: pixelvisionpodcast@gmail.com

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Pixel Vision
Pixel Vision
Video game commentary and analysis, fresh from the screen, from hosts Ben Garman and Tao Sharma
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