A Cry For Help – Edmund McMillen Collection

The world's most elaborate suicide note? Let's assume not.

Edmund McMillen is either celebrating ten years of independent game development, or planning to mysteriously disappear. Either way, the result is the creation of a CD containing everything artistic he’s made over the last decade, from games like Aether, Meatboy and Triachnid to the doodles in his sketchbooks. We like Edmund McMillen lots, so this seems like a rather good thing.

The CD, brilliantly called This Is A Cry For Help – Celebrating 10 Years Of Artistic Independence, is a teeny $10, and available via NewsGrounds or a special edition with handdrawn extras and stickers from his Etsy shop. McMillen explains,

“I’ve spent the past 10 years of my life trying my best to stay independent and work on personal projects I felt had meaning to me and what I was trying to express as an artist. All my work has a personal cathartic theme. I don’t censor my ideas even if they contradict my personal views and I think that’s something very important when it comes to making art. Thanks for buying the CD, I hope you enjoy my work.”

Lovely, friendly Gish.

On there you’ll find 17 games (including Gish [lost levels], Aether, Meat Boy, The C Word, Cereus Peashy, Blood Car!, Guppy, and Blash Miner), along with 450 pages of his comics, over 300 pages of sketches, and a ton of Flash games and animations. Blimey.

Which is all a bit fab, really. McMillen is heralded by many in the PC indie scene as an inspiration, and his often disturbing games get plenty of recognition. Gish is certainly his most famous release, won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at 2005’s IGF Awards, and the disc contains a collection of “lost levels” from the game.

He’s obviously having a bit of fun with his music choice for the trailers, too. For instance, his GameTrailers censored trailer features Kaada’s “Thank You For Giving Me Your Valuable Time”, with the closing reprise of “Bye bye” over and over.

Then in the uncensored version, the music is Hush by Tool, in which we’re reminded, “Fuck yourself, fuck yourself, you piece of shit.”

So, be warned that there’s plenty of appearances by ladybits and manwinkies before you buy, and as you’ll see in the trailers, a large amount of gloopy blood fun. This anthology also makes one other rather interesting point: it’s possible to have ten year collections of internet obscurities. Ten years!


  1. Sideath says:

    This. Looks. Awesome.

  2. Erlam says:

    I know it’s off topic, but what the hell is with the ‘Miley Cyrus’ adds all over this page all of the sudden? Goddamn, it’s surreal.

  3. Jonas says:

    It makes me slightly sad to think that if I were to release an anthology of my last 10 years of work, all it would have is a WC3 scenario, an NWN module, and one big Deus Ex mod. On the other hand, I can’t program and I’m no good artist, so it’s not like I could’ve done anything like this in that time :P

    The only of McMillan’s games I’ve played is Triachnid. I loved its style and its modest narrative, but it was too punishing for me to get very far. I’m a wuss that way.

  4. K says:

    I decided to use my own soundtrack and chose “One Hundred Years” by The Cure. It seemed rather apt.
    Sounds like a bargain.

  5. Armyofnone says:

    I’ve been wanting to play Guppy since I saw the video… Very tempting.

  6. Nik Daum says:

    Those games have some slick, and sick, animation. I laughed when I saw “Clubby” the seal.

  7. Daniel Purvis says:

    Thanks for the link! Snagged one of the last three signed versions. Hehehe.

  8. Hypocee says:

    John and Alec aren’t on speaking terms? :P

    link to rockpapershotgun.com

  9. Heliocentric says:


    The advertisements are based on you cookies, no?

    So whats your excuse?

  10. Tei says:

    That guy work looks awesome. More the latest parts of the video than the first ones (but gish looks amazing).

    Also, is amazing to watch the 1 guy on 1.000.000 that can make real his dreams. How bold is to create this videogames in a world where everything ask for more and more time, so you have less and less for The Important Stuff, like creating videogames. Is also amazing how today, still exist people that can create a full game, from analisys, design, code, pictures, music, sound effects, installer, website and pimpage. WOA. That guy is singlehanding a mozart concerto.

  11. Tei says:

    Whats the meaning of the picture with the guy with hand in pieces drawed?
    “Right hand for sale as pieces”?

  12. Dinger says:

    Hypocee — duplicate posts are a sign that RPS has ‘arrived.’

  13. Gap Gen says:

    Is there a difference between the last 3 items in the store?

  14. Alec Meer says:

    Actually, duplicate posts are a sign that John doesn’t read his own website. Me sighs.

  15. John Walker says:

    I just don’t read Alec’s bits as he’s so rubbish.

  16. Dreamhacker says:

    *Insert previous flash-animated-snuff-hate-rant here*

  17. Gap Gen says:

    I think there’s some joy in having the uncensored trailer embedded.

  18. Ecko says:

    Chuckles like this, when I get deja vu because of repeat posts, are definitely what makes RPS great.

  19. Arnulf says:


  20. chesh says:

    Woot, got the last signed one.

  21. Shanucore says:

    I just ordered one from Etsy – looks like they have just 6 left, folks.

  22. Switch625 says:

    I just nabbed the last one from Etsy, guys. Sorry about that.
    (But also: woo!)

  23. AksumkA says:


  24. plant42 says:

    Dunno. As an artist myself I think some of this imagery is handled a bit clumsily. If you’re going to make a game about sex, genitalia or feminism more power to you – but the message isn’t reading here, unless the message is ‘misogyny is nice and shocking, that should get me some traffic.’

  25. Gap Gen says:

    Isn’t it more just the joie-de-vivre of engaging in a bit of toilet humour?

  26. Dreamhacker says:

    Honestly, people making flash-snuff need some serious help.

  27. MrDeVil_909 says:

    Honestly, people getting steamed up over _games_ that they are uncomfortable with need some serious help.

    The vast majority of games are ‘snuff’ games in that they involve killing and dying.

    Games will never be taken seriously as an art form if the creators need to self censor to protect the comfort of reactionaries.

  28. Dreamhacker says:

    Honestly, your definition of snuff is wrong. And you might need some help yourself.

    Alot of people die in movies and TV-series. But do the cinemas or network show snuff?

    Alot of people die in videogames. More than in television and movies combined. But are mass-marketed games focused on experiencing the agony, pain and fear of the victims?

    Let me tell you a story. Around 60 years ago, a european country witnessed the rise of one man who would lead a battered nation into a war that killed over 62 million, wounded innumerable and reshaped the world, for better and for worse. The key to his success was that no one around him stood up to him, that no one defied him, that no one dared say “Enough!” before it was too late.

    People do die in games and films, but the death is not the focus of the entertainment. Death is a means of propagating the story. Take western WW2 shooters as an example. The games are not centered around the idea of killing Axis soldiers as a means of virtual vengeance. The killing of Axis soldiers is portrayed as the means of ending the war.

    You call me a reactionary, and I disagree. I am simply afraid of a world where the art and depiction of death and pain, blood and gore, where the worth of human life is measured in the ad revenue for commercial breaks in between the snuff.

    I ask you this question: Is this a world that is worth looking forward to?
    My answer is simple: Never.

  29. Jonas says:

    Dreamhacker, did you have to go and invoke Godwin’s law? That seems uncalled for. And you do realize that snuff means films where actual people are actually killed, not just actors who pretend to die, right?

    FYI: link to en.wikipedia.org

  30. MacBeth says:

    Sorry what? I’ve played a couple of McMillen’s games… found them interestingly/amusingly weird and ‘gross’.

    So where does snuff (cf. actual, real murder for entertainment), the rise of Nazi power and the decline and fall of civilisation come into it? I must be missing something… or Dreamhacker is trolling in a peculiar way.

    P.S. you’re definitely a reactionary if you believe is a menace to society, and want to turn back to some (possibly mythical) version of society where didn’t exist.

  31. MacBeth says:

    Oops, didn’t check my preview properly. PS should read:

    P.S. you’re definitely a reactionary if you believe [exhibit A of which you disapprove but is generally popular] is a menace to society, and want to turn back to some (possibly mythical) version of society where [exhibit A] didn’t exist.

  32. aldo_14 says:

    But do the cinemas or network show snuff?

    Ummm, isn’t that pretty much what horror movies like Saw or Hostel are?

    Let me tell you a story. Around 60 years ago, a european country witnessed the rise of one man who would lead a battered nation into a war that killed over 62 million, wounded innumerable and reshaped the world, for better and for worse. The key to his success was that no one around him stood up to him, that no one defied him, that no one dared say “Enough!” before it was too late.

    I don’t see what the relevance is here. The key to the success of any dictator is not the absence of opposition (there most certainly was to Hitler anyways), but the factors which a) limit effectiveness of opposition and b) gave said dictator enough support to assume power (normally both are connected).

    Of course, I’m not sure what you’re categorising ‘snuff’ as here. But if you’re going to bring out comparisons with hitler (or Stalin, or Mussolini, etc), surely you should explain what the equivalent effects to, say, economic collapse, anti-communist fire, SS repression or the Reichstag fire would be?

  33. Jonas says:

    Well I think we can at least all agree that murder is a menace to society, though I’m pretty positive it’s always existed ;)

  34. Alec Meer says:

    You’ve made your objections to Mcmillen’s work clear Dreamhacker, so let’s leave it at that now please. This has gotten well out of hand.

  35. Jonas says:

    aldo_14: No, Saw and Hostel are not snuff. The key here is that in these movies, actors pretend to die. In actual snuff, people get killed for real, while it is filmed.

    You should play Vampire: Bloodlines! Then you would know this :P

  36. Dreamhacker says:

    I am aware that snuff film involves real people being killed, but what I mean is: Why should depictions of non-real people (or animals for that part) being massacred and killed for entertainment be accepted as “good culture” and a “good use of the freedom of expression” while snuff is (almost) reviled? What kind of message does that send anyway? Picture it yourselves:
    “Oh, those flash-animated trauma movies are so cartoonish and laughable that even kids could watch them!”

    I dont seek a “mythical” version of society where snuff doesn’t exist, because I know it exists. I merely seek a society where the spreading of snuff as a part of mainstream culture doesnt exist.

    Is this too much to ask? I think not.

    (Also, if expressing ones opinions in a diplomatic and reasonable way is equal to trolling, then George Orwell might just have been on to something.)

  37. Jonas says:

    Equating others’ opinions to the Nazis isn’t what I’d categorize as diplomatic or reasonable ;)

    The reason snuff is reviled is that people are killed to make it. You know that classic disclaimer “No animals were harmed during the making of this film”? That’s because hurting or killing living creatures for entertainment is a bad, bad thing to do.

    On the other hand, throwing a bunch of fake blood around and stabbing each other with retractable plastic knives while the camera’s rolling hurts nobody – it’s just harmless fun. Whether society as a whole benefits or suffers from that is up for debate, but it’s not a discussion I’m particularly interested in participating in right now – I just want to make sure you stop calling it snuff, because snuff is illegal and slasher films are not :)

  38. MacBeth says:

    Expressing one’s opinions is fine, and generally to be encouraged. But these opinions you have expressed are, as far as anyone else can tell, both a) extreme and b) largely irrelevant to the material in question, creating artificial controversy where it doesn’t belong. Hence the suspicion of trolling. I still don’t even know what particular piece of work you are referring to, but I’m willing to leave it there as I’m doubtful there’s any merit in continuing (and Alec said to).

  39. psyk says:

    Ah nice I remember his dead baby stuff hope its on the cd.

  40. RE: Snuff says: