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Plok The Exploding Man

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Main
Series

Vol: 5

Mon, 22 Feb 2016

#104 Intercom

Captain Skint accidentally starts the 'discovery' phase of the trial.

#104 Intercom

Support the Plok comic strip on Patreon

Main Series: Vol 5

#104 Intercom

Captain Skint accidentally starts the 'discovery' phase of the trial.

Mon, 22 Feb 2016


More episodes!

Not sure what's going on in this comic? Read the earlier episodes in the Main Series to catch up, or read the one-off episodes in the Shorts Series.

Volume 1:
Awake!

Volume 2:
Boom!

Volume 3:
Cave

Volume 4:
Destination Z

Volume 5:
The Trial of Plok

Volume 6:
Plok's Odyssey

Shorts
Series

Comments

OH SNAP

 

Why doesn't Plok simply fake cheating, have the Xobians capture him, and then explode?

I know the answer would be killing off two important characters, Plok being abandoned in space for all eternity, and would be the end to this comic, but that would be the most logical thing to do.

And I know you totally forgot that Plok could explode, despite the fact that it is the name of this comic.

 

Please Nathan, go to sleep...

 

JPickford

While Plok can (and does) sometimes explode in the comic, the name was more in the sense of 'an exploded diagram'. He comes apart - throwing his limbs around.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploded-view_drawing

 

Ste Pickford

In case you haven't seen it, the Volume 3 book is available for sale now. Click the SHOP tab above the comic strip to have a look at it.

 

TheByrd

Bah, Nathan, go back under the bridge.

...Anyhow, if this comic goes into some kind of Professor Layton/Phoenix Wright allusion, it's going to get awesome. A Xobonian in a top hat reminiscing about puzzles sounds pretty amusing.

 

Cheez

i can't stop laughing at the word "splorts"

 

TheByrd

Splorts is going to be a rather colorful new addition to the English language, or at least the Urban Dictionary. Sounds kind of like a vague reference to all kinds of potty malfunctions.

 

JPickford

Deleted spam which makes the two posts above no longer make sense.

 

JPickford

Maybe Ste can put the word 'splorts" into the comic?

 

Ste Pickford

Haha

 

Too late.

"Splort" is already defined in Urban Dictionary. Of course, I did not read all of the definitions, so I am going to assume that all of the "definitions" for that word is something very NSFW.

 

JPickford

Definitely adding it to the comic then.

 

What irony, the little baby flea ended up helping Plok by accidentally fall on a button. Things don't look good for Plok and his friends.

 

TheByrd

Well, Nathan, if they already added splorts into the Urban D, they've diddled me. I'll have to take your word on it.

Guess I can't get my splorts jersey from the spam MBA store salesman.

 

Brad Silvia

I hope #105 hints at a PC release of Plok.

 

You know, I've been thinking...

The Japanese boxart is a bit terrifying

img ( d - 0 - +)gamefaqs ( d - 0 - + )net/box/0/2/3/51023_front.jpg

I have no idea who came up with this abomination of a Plok mutant, but I have a feeling that you now will have ideas to have creepy Japanese Plok take over Poly-Esta...

 

JPickford

Like it

 

Ryusui

Dun dun DUNNNNN!

 

Time to reintroduce Plok.

SNES games are now going to be on New 3DS systems for Virtual Console.

EVERYBODY needs to play Plok on the go!

 

Cheez

can we get a plokaholics anonymous side page for Nathan here

 

TheByrd

But then it's not anonymous!

Oh well, Plok on the go that gives the Pickfords more cash and is not simply ripping a "free" rom should most definitely be a thing. Hopefully it's not a load of BS getting the licensing from Nintendo, if that's the route to be taken for it. They're kind of strange on that stuff anymore, though maybe VC is possible with the appropriate licensing fees and finagling. Still sounds like some hoops based on what I've seen and heard.

You can sign me up though for Plokaholics "Anonymous", it's a cool enough game to get addicted to. That's kinda why we're all here though, so I guess this comic in itself is already the Plokaholics Anonymous site and we're all PAs, so to speak.

 

I had a relapse.

 

Brad Silvia

Maybe The Pickfords should try Nintendo again to have Plok on the Virtual Console for 3DS.

 

The biggest gripe concerning Plok from today's pespective is probably the fact that the source code and original game assets have gone missing and aren't available. The game sure could use some tweaking, such as inserting a save feature as well as adjusting the difficulty curve a bit. Unfortunately without the source code this would require either fully reverse-engineering and disassembling the SNES ROM, or re-implementing the game from scratch (probably on a modern platform), neither of which, if I'm not mistaken, is being considered particularly viable at this moment.

 

TheByrd

That's a pretty insightful response to the whole thing and explains it even further, though I'm almost certain big N would be a bit of a roadstop anymore too with Draconian licensing. The difficulty is a pretty legit thing too, I had to go through the game with savestates once the Flea Pit came around. That UFO level really did a number on me. I also remember the Pickfords mentioning that they'd add in a save feature if they'd do it over again someplace within the confines of the Plok comic boards.

At least we can still enjoy the rom and/or get a physical copy while giving the Pickfords support through the comic.

 

Then one of you guys should take a Plok ROM, learn SNES Assembly language, and reconstructing the source-code.

Or simply pull a Sonic CD 2011 and just remake the whole thing (which will also include scrapped levels, HD visuals, and widescreen support).

 

TheByrd

Oof. :(

As much as I wish I could say that too, Nathan, I know that 65816 is a hard assembly language as it is, so anyone who has the skills to do that is amazing in my eyes to go in and do just that. A lot of people don't want to touch anything Assembly as it is in this day and age. I suppose someone could always try C though, at least there are totally people who can do that, just that it would be a clusterbomb coordinating a group to write Plok in C. Sonic CD 2011 was lucky enough to have a lot of fan support.

Not that a remaster of Plok CAN'T be done since there ARE books for learning 65816, just that goodness, someone would be a hero to try, especially without prior experience in programming or if they insert some features like savepoints into Plok. Not only that, Plok is, quite sadly, a bit obscure compared to Sonic CD, though most certainly a very fine game. Maybe if we can all expand support if no one here is a wizard, we can attract someone who is. I'm a huge novice when it comes to programming and anything C, briefly peeked at 65816 a couple years ago out of personal interest.

I am curious though-- Sonic CD 2011 was made in Retro Engine. Is it possible to remake Plok through that so it can, well, exist and have the modern features Sonic CD 2011 enjoys? It will still be a massive undertaking to remake it all, but if anyone here has the skills, I'll totally give some support through Patreon or otherwise.

 

JPickford

As an old-timer I find it fascinating that assembler is considered hard to learn nowadays. We used to switch assembler language/processors all the time. I went from Z80 (Speccy) to 68000 (Amiga but learned on a QL) back to Z80ish (Rare's coin-op board) then a cut-down Z80 (Gameboy) then the 65xxxx (SNES). It was just a matter of a few days adjusting with each one really. I'm much more intimidated by high level languages nowadays. Well, it's more the epic API's you have to learn. 99% of coding is very similar.

That said I tried a bit of Speccy coding a few months ago and it brought back how cumbersome assembler coding is. Many, many instructions to do the simplest thing. Fun though, and great to just have yourself and some screen memory without an API in between. Hopefully I'll get some free time to get back to that at some point.

 

NameThatNobodyTakes

It's cumbersome for us to code in or learn any assembler language because we have been spoiled by high level languages from the beginning. When you started programming it was a critical part of a developer's skill set because there was no other way around it.

I don't consider using assembler to be beyond the realm of my intelligence, but when we have compilers which can optimize high language code into machine instructions far better than a human being will ever be capable of, then frankly I see no reason to ever use it - but I respect all the coders who have done the unpleasant work before my time so that I could stand on their shoulders.

 

TheByrd

This thread really took quite a turn!

A lot of folks really aren't into assembly anymore, it's something that seems pretty intimidating to them just as higher languages are intimidating to people used to the older stuff.

Goodness though, I want to hear more on this topic, John. Maybe I really ought to pick something up, assembly has always been a really interesting thing to me. I'm just really not sure what practical uses I'd have learning the stuff, but hey. Maybe make a game myself or do some GNU/Linux work.

Also, to NameThatNobodyTakes, there are some optimizations of code that a compiler isn't aware of, and for a small enough window of code, a human is going to do better. This is one reason why folks still use assembler. When it comes to key parts of a code that need to be fast, they'll use a lower language so it'll fly on a piece of hardware.

I know that people write games in C++, among other languages. They'll check out the code for bottlenecking after the C++ write (for example), then get in and take the bottlenecks up in an assembly language for optimization. However, it's not very likely any human is going to be writing a long line in assembly, I'd expect someone to use C for maintaining code, at least depending on what kind of code and use we're talking about (no using a screwdriver to hammer in a nail).

In other words, I have yet to see a higher language without its share of issues. That is not to say that assembly does not have its own, which is perhaps why it's important to have a few good high and low languages learned.

 

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