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30

Balloon Head Dead, No Redemption

Well this sucks. Those stupid idiotholes at Zombie Cow turn out to hate everyone in the whole world and have shelved their Time, Gentle,men, Please, follow-up, Revenge of the Balloon-Headed Mexican. SADFACE. I hate them.

Boo – it seems they’re doing it for the very sensiblest reasons. Dan Marshall explains, “It felt like we were going over old, worn ground. Again and again. We’ve done all this. We’ve seen it all before. There’s nothing fresh or new and exciting about it.”

Harsh thoughts. RPS chatted with Zombie Cow and we have the details of what the game would have been below. Cue funereal music.

My theory, first, is since they saw the Channel 4 money for Privates they can’t see to develop the game for all the pound signs constantly chiming in their eyes. In fact, I bugged their office and heard this converstion:

Dan: We barely make any money from the Ben & Dan games.

Ben: Sorry, I can’t hear you from the other side of this giant pile of Channel 4 money.

Dan: What was that? I can’t hear you from the other side of this giant pile of Channel 4 money.

But deciding to swallow my hurt, I spoke with Dan to find out exactly what it is we’re missing out on.

“The plot involved sneaking aboard evil Senor el Balloon-Head’s Evil Airship to deal with him, at which point all these butch, modern marines turn up, and before long they’re stuck in a pitched gun battle with Balloon Head’s Evil Gorilla Piñata minons. You’re working for a company called Adventure Corp, and the soldiers are from Shooter Corp; naturally, being all about shooting and shouting ‘hooah’, they’re really dismissive of what you do as Adventurers because, well, no one does that anymore do they? They consider themselves to be the de facto, popular way of sorting out menacing baddies.”

But that sounds clever! Take THAT, corridor shooters! Satire in your faces!

“However, being typical gruff, stupid space marines, they won’t take out an End of Game Baddy unless he’s got all the obvious weaknesses and over-the-top signposting they’ve come to expect – indicated by a glowing spot for them to aim at, and is moving in a pleasingly-predictable attack pattern.”

See – that’s a thing that games do! I wanted that to be mocked : (

“This time round, Dan and Ben were split up, with Dan being below-deck having action mini-game fights with an angry Piñata bear, and Ben above ground using a sniper rifle to make a snoozy Piñata bear angry. You could flip between them as you liked, using one to help the other progress, and eventually reuniting them for the final showdown.”

Oh, action minigames? Probably for the best that it’s gone then.

“So you needed to trick old Balloon-Head into eating a lightbulb in order to get his balloon head all lit up, and pass Ben’s pubic lice inventory item over in order to make him jiggle about.”

That’s how my cousin died.

“Oh yeah, that. Ben’s carrying round Pubic Lice for the entire game, and the only way to get rid of them is to pass them on to someone else. In order to give Balloon Head the lice, Dan and Ben had to put on a sexy Piñata Pantomime Horse costume, and perform (sexy) Quick Time Events to arouse Balloon-Head’s little flaccid balloon willy so much he’d sex you right there on the spot. Ben being at the back end, naturally. There was even a little balloon willy icon to demonstrate your progress, and everything. It got bigger and bigger and bigger until eventually it burst, and Balloon Head couldn’t help himself. It was all pretty mental.”

And it will never be known. Which is a shame, since that sounds pretty funny. Although, in fairness, I’m just talking about the word “willy” appearing in a sentence.

We love those Zombie Cow guys, because they gave us Time Gentlemen, Please, which is unquestionably one of the best adventure games of the last decade. And because they seem nice. So all the best with whatever it is that fills their time in between counting C4 cash instead. Hopefully it will be another adventure, because there’s not exactly a glut of developers as talented at them as those guys.

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Who am I?

John Walker

Senior Editor

One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and general hero of humanity.

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