Episode 6: Below the Surface Pt. 2

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So, it was the holidays. The holidays of 2013, to be exact. And the podcast was coming out on Christmas Day, December 25th. Lucky for me, Danes celebrate Christmas on the 24th and I don’t celebrate Christmas at all, so I had the entire day of the 24th all to myself to get the podcast recorded and finalized for publication.

Naturally, some things I had planned had to go, because, hey, people are busy for some reason that time of year. I had hoped to get both SteveBot and Chris Ushko to record a couple of bits about the easter eggs of Space Quest II VGA and Space Quest: Incinerations, respectively, but — yeah. Chris graciously sent me a list of easter eggs and fun tidbits for Incinerations in a Facebook mail, but didn’t have time to record them himself, so I ended up reading them in my own lilting, pleasant voice (cough). Steven Alexander didn’t have time to record his eggs either, but I decided to hold off with the SQ2VGA easter eggs from SteveBot, because, well, I really want to have SteveBot back on the show and this is a perfect excuse. Frederik Olsen did come through and recorded a spiel about three easter eggs in Vohaul Strikes Back.

Gareth came through with amazing speed right before the weekend when, on a whim, I proposed a silly idea about Pete Toleman coming out in for the Christmas season and apologizing to everyone he’s wronged, only to have it turn out that he was fishing for some nefarious crap. Running with the idea in true Millwardian fashion, Gareth concocted a grandiose spiel about Toleman’s company, Priapic Mountain, coming out with a Kickstarter for a game, despite Toleman’s palpable dislike for anything crowd- and/or community-funded. As usual, I nearly shit my pants laughing when I first heard it, and I set it to a rambunctious Christmas song I did a while ago (looping the first sixteen bars endlessly) — mainly because that song has a really loud “record scratching” noise, and that seemed the perfect way to end Toleman’s special Christmas message.

Brandon and Ken, the gentlemen of rock, talk about the Format Countdown — my absolute favorite of the series — and I’ve already gone on long enough about that, so I won’t get into too much detail here (ah, who am I kidding?). I was really bummed that I could only find two alternate fan renditions of the tune, other than Brandon’s, and I created both of them myself. I was really surprised that I couldn’t turn up any more, especially since I know there are a ton of them out there! The SQ community back in the day had a bunch of talented musicians who I’m pretty sure all did their own version of the Format Countdown, along with a few versions of my own, and all of these versions seem to be lost forever! Breaks my heart, that does. If anyone out there has a version of the Format Countdown not present in this podcast, please don’t hesitate to send it my way!

Ken Allen even went above-and-beyond, as he is wont to do, by recording a special “musical easter egg” bit, complete with fake-interview style “hi, mind if I interrupt?” — I love that kind of stuff; it was really fun pretending Ken was in the room with me. And he didn’t even tell me he was doing that before he sent me the wav-file, so the man knows how to surprise a guy. (Sorry, that came out wrong.)

And, finally, the great Rudy Marchant of SierraChest.com came through with a long spiel about his life and times as an obsessed Sierra fan. Rudy graciously offered to contribute with anything I wanted him to do, but he seemed understandably a bit unsure of exactly what I was asking of him when I said, “Just talk about what you do with the Chest.” Even though the podcast was about easter eggs, I was quite flattered that Rudy wanted to be on the show, so, after waffling for a bit, I decided I didn’t want to pigeonhole him into just talking about easter eggs; I wanted to hear all about how the SierraChest got started. I think that just added to the confusion, though, because, as Rudy says, he can go on for hours about Sierra if left untethered. So I actually wrote down a list of questions for him, even though I specifically said I didn’t want to do it “interview-style”, which he very graciously and effusively responded to. Poor guy also seemed to be somewhat unhappy with what he’d turned in, offering to completely re-record it if I had any objections — which, of course, I hadn’t. I thought it was perfect; I could listen to that dude talk about Sierra games for hours.

And that was about it. I managed to record and mix the whole thing on Christmas Eve, send it to the Pope-Meister for publication on the next day, then had a couple of beers, watched Akira and went to bed. I realized I had actually made the Pope work on Christmas Day, which wasn’t very nice of me, but it was all a massive coincidence: the podcast comes out on alternate Wednesdays, and it just happened that this particular Wednesday landed on a monumental holiday.

So there it is. The next podcast features the last of the SQ4 metal medley commentary, but, once again, the gentlemen of rock have spoiled me — it turns out they sat down, unbeknownst to me, on New Years Day and had a long chat, which they recorded and sent to me. No, that’s not in the next podcast. 😉 But, not to worry, you’ll hear it soon enough.

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