>> Monday, April 16, 2007
Monty Python's Invasion from the planet Skyron. An interactive game on CD-i, or something completely different? This describes the game perfectly if it can even be called a game, typically bizarre and typical Monty Python through and through. From beginning to end depending on your inclination towards Monty Python you'll either be in hysterics or absolutely bemused. Invasion from planet Skyron is an interactive varietyshow, based on the works of the Monty Python team. It looks and feels like a game, but will be experienced as something completely different. Each time the program is started, viewers will see scenes in a different order and sometimes even completely new ones. A part of this story was published in 1996 by Daily Llama and thankfully conserved for archiving reasons!
By clicking the player/viewer directs the clan through the different worlds, based on the animations of Terry Gilliam. Clicking on objects or bringing the clan to certain locations trigger several kinds of events. Many encounters take place and each one requires a different reaction. But life in this Python world changes over time as well. As many as 13 different games are hidden in this world of Python, mostly based on specific sketches that still influence our perception of humour and the use of language. Players can earn points, which enables them to view sketches and clips in the cinema. This can be entered by clicking on the score sheep. But also during the exploration of the different scenes videoclips from the television series can be seen and every now and then the program is being interrupted for an intermission, among which a number of commercial ones. If players decide to leave the game they are enabled to visit the scenes they have gone through again. This way players can experience favourite scenes once more.
There are actually three titles about Monty Python released on the CD-i format. However the first two titles are mere VideoCD's not using the Ïnteractive" power of CD-i at all. Invasion of the Planet Skyron is fully interactive, although it's not an actual game as you would expect. In fact, there is no mention of a Planet Skyron in the entire game. No, but instead you can play with Monty Python related video clips, and lots of audio and animations, and mini-games (much like 7th Level's "Complete Waste of Time") by walking in environments inspired by Monty Python themes.
The title was produced by Daedalus CD-i Productions, which was at the time a sub-group of Lost Boys in Amsterdam, Holland. It's described as a "slightly absurdist and unpredictable" CD-i experience. There are over 800 sound bites and 50 MPEG video clips (totalling 45 minutes) to explore. From the very start, the title is going to disorientate you. After booting up the disc, you are greeted by the familiar Philips Media tune and logo sequence. After this, it seems like the system is rebooting and entering the main OS shell again. When you click again on the "Play CD-i" icon, an animated Python troupe (Cleese, Palin, Chapman, Jones and Idle) breaks out of the Philips logo and smashes the remains of the screen. Excellent scene!
After this sequence, the game continues the same way. You are supposed to guide the Monty Python clan through nine levels. You control the clan by clicking the cursor on the place where you want to go. In fact, you have to click on everything to start the little games which can be hidden anywhere. The fun of this is not really in the game. Games can earn you points, but points are given totally random. For instance, when you win a memory game, points can be decreased without any notice. A little frustarting, because you were probably saving up points because it leads to access of the different Monty Python Digital Video sequences.
The interactivity is actually a complete waste of time, because you have to click on everything to get things started but doesn't get points when you perform well. It's just luck. According to Daily Llama: "Guiding Simon the Upper-Class-Twit along the tricky "straight line obstacle" involves anticipating his in-bred stupidity and prompting him in the opposite direction to where he should go. There are stacks of hidden sub-games tucked away to add variety: ranging from Pythonesque shoot-em-ups to playing a tune on Terry Jones' infamous mouse organ (smash each mouse on the head to produce a musical squeak)." Yes, the more points you get, the longer the videos will be!
The title, "Invasion from the Planet Skyron," is derived from an early Monty Python sketch during their first season in 1969. Daily Llama explains: "A race of blancmanges invade England, turning everyone into Scotsmen so that the blancmanges can win Wimbeldon (based on the well-known fact that the Scottish are terrible tennis players). What tips the authorities is Mr. Angus Podgorny, owner of a Dunbar menswear shop, who receives an order for 48 million kilts from the planet Skyron in the Galaxy of Andromeda."
Credits: Pythonline, Lost Boys