Spandau Ballet Sits and Starts Singing about Gold

The mysterious Bill sends this to us this, though worries it may prompt “Old” comments from the thread. We fear not people who say Old, because we have the delete function. It’s Champion of Guitars. It’s Guitar Hero… but Interactive Fiction. It may be satire. Go play!


  1. Fitzmogwai says:

    Magnificent. A truly inspired piece of text adventuring. I expect that one day a brave games company will take this genius concept and build a fully-realised game based on this. I only hope that the original creator gets the credit he deserves.

  2. Ian says:

    I’ve heard of this but had never played it.


  3. Bobsy says:


    I mean, uh… what do I mean?

    EDIT: Like all IF, I am disappointed by the lack of creativity in commands.

    > rock out totally
    > stage dive
    > drop guitar
    > bite head off bat

    Should all be commands.

  4. Cheeetar says:

    Wait, what? Is there anything I can do apart from rocking out totally?

  5. Professor says:

    That rocked!

  6. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    @ Cheetar: Try pressing the wrong buttons.

  7. Heliocentric says:

    also “smash guitar”

  8. Sum0 says:

    Might I say, that Google Parchment thing is brilliant. Beats that crusty old z5 web interpreter that was always too slow into a cocked hat. Without the hassle of downloading an interpreter, could this signal A NEW GOLDEN AGE OF INTERACTIVE FICTION?

  9. Stuk says:

    Hehe, that was many funs

  10. spinks says:

    Haha. And that was an awesome subject line too.

  11. Markoff Chaney says:

    By carrying the guitar, you bear the burden of the expectations of literally dozens of people whom you’ve never seen before in your life, and will probably never see again.

    It just needs a nice reminder at the end “You’re Winner!!”

    This suffices, however: Your epic success at pressing colored buttons on a fake guitar throws the crowd into hysteric ecstasy.

    It’s just like the real thing!

    It’s that or : Your utter failure to mimic a series of colored circles enrages the crowd. I can’t seem to do too much more than succeed or fail. I can try to smash it, but… Parsers seem to do this frequently. It’s no Facade, that’s for sure.

    Enjoyable, too linear, nice satire, slightly interactive but I can’t find the branching if its there (other than pass/fail). It’s good to see IF keeping legs and a wonderful way for people to experience them, without breaking out command interpreters. I second the love of Google Parchment.

  12. Maurice says:

    Nice fun little game. A few more options would have been good, though.

    You’ll have to say which compass direction to go in.

    >leave north
    You can’t go that way.

    >leave south
    You can’t go that way.

    >leave east
    You can’t go that way.

    >leave west
    You can’t go that way.

    Someone in the audience yells, “What are you waiting for?”.

    >answer “Shut up, dickhead”
    (to the crowd)
    There is no reply.

  13. Cedge says:

    As a note of semantics, it’s not really “Google Parchment.” That terminology makes it sounds like it’s a project from Google itself. It’s just called “Parchment.”

    It’s the work of a few open-source coders, and is simply housed on Google Code (which is sort of like Google’s version of Sourceforge).

  14. Down Rodeo says:

    Yay, the crowd love me. Interesting and well done, but not much behind it. Good idea though (it’s too easy to dismiss this sort of thing as simple).

  15. TheModernArdeo says:

    I go to school with Bill (SRC) and I just can’t exclaim how giddy I am to see his name plastered all over the internet.

  16. Kieron Gillen says:

    (As a side point, worth noting that by adding more options than basically just pressing the buttons you remove the satire. The point is, this is just what Guitar Hero is)


  17. Dan Harris says:

    I played this with an ever-widening smile. Good stuff.

  18. Meat Circus says:

    Nobody shouts ‘old’ any more. All the cool kids shout “GAMMAL!” instead.

  19. Thomas Lawrence says:

    That opening reminds me a bit of a nifty piece of IF called “The Act of Misdirection”, which had the fantastic opening conceit of placing you in the role of a stage magician, on stage, about to begin a magic act… but of course, without providing you any knowledge about what your act involves. It’s very clever.

  20. BooleanBob says:

    Hmph. Is there any game that can’t be (poorly) re-rendered as IF that people won’t fall over themselves to adore? With this in mind, I give you:

    Duck Hunt, a seminal retro-indie mash-up IF phenomenon by BooleanBob (some credit reluctantly given to those Nintendo guys)

    The scene is a lurid pastiche of neon greens, puce, and robin egg blue. Your view of the wildlife preserve stretches into a seeming eternity of sky, obscured only by a small, unhealthy-looking tree and some kind of bush peeking out above the undergrowth.

    You know why you are here. Your family needs to eat. You don’t like that you’re having to steal, but it was either this or try your hand as a Somali pirate, and you’ve never been good with boats.

    You are carrying an awkward and unwieldy grey and orange gun. There is a duck here.

    Shoot duck

    You level your gun at the graceful form of the bird in flight. Unfortunately, whoever crafted your weapon neglected to give it an adequate sight. Three brisk reports ring out, but the animal still honks, still flaps. You have missed.

    The duck, ascending, soon flies out of view.

    Your dog is here. He is laughing at you.

    Shoot dog

    (first reloading gun)

    You try to shoot your dog, but something is wrong with the gun. Your finger jams the trigger back time and again, but nothing happens. You feel the hairs on the back of your burning neck start to prickle as a mixture of rage and humiliation sweeps across your care-worn features.

    et cetera

  21. Hypocee says:

    A bit of an understandable misperception I think, BooleanBob. Always remember, in matters of Meh the majority is silent. If you see this sort of thing and think ‘oooh aren’t you a clever lad with a fetching black turtleneck’, you’re unlikely to bother leaving a comment. The nice thing about Internet cults as opposed to real ones is that they don’t hurt anyone and you can just leave them to their fun.

    On the other hand, Deity of Conflict is the same joke done the same way, and I thought that was a laugh riot and played it twice. Probably the choice of the drunken fratboy narrator made the difference.

  22. Bobsy says:

    @Kieron: agreed. But I find it so hard to play IF by their constrictive rules. Something about the elegantly written prose compells me to break out and go against the grain. I think we talked about this before…

    … ah yes, we did. I make no apologies.

  23. Wildbluesun says:


    …That was my true, honest-to-god reaction.

  24. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    I laughed through every button press….totally random, I’m a fokkin’ rock star, yeeeeah!

  25. jamscones says:

    There’s almost certainly a Sisters of Mercy angle to this story. Oh look! There it is:

    link to

    “The chemist smiles knowingly”


  26. terry says:

    “Sends this to us this” sounds like some sort of Lovecraftian chant and I will scorn any article that uses such phraseology!

    I did enjoy the title however. I…I think I might watch some TV in gta4 now :(

  27. unclelou says:

    “Hmph. Is there any game that can’t be (poorly) re-rendered as IF that people won’t fall over themselves to adore?”

    While your example is rather amusing, Duck Hunt hasn’t sold multimillion copies in 2008. :)

    You’d have more trouble with GTA, Spore or Fallout 3, I dare say.

  28. vanarbulax says:

    The games doing it wrong!

    >Press green button and strum
    You can’t use multiple objects with that verb.

    Clearly needs to study the material they are satirizing, only when you’re using the slider bar during solo’s can you not strum, unless you turn the slider bar off in options. Even then you can only use the frets by themselves during solos. I object to the inaccuracies, guitar hero is serious business.

  29. BooleanBob says:

    @unclelou: Actually wii play almost certainly has sold multimillion copies in 2008, and the shooting gallery mode is enough of a blatant Duck Hunt homage for me to begrudge your point on the frantic antics of pedantic semantics.