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Vol: 5

Fri, 09 Sep 2016

#112 Retro Replay

Xöb dusts off a R@RE classic cartridge.

#112 Retro Replay

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Main Series: Vol 5

#112 Retro Replay

Xöb dusts off a R@RE classic cartridge.

Fri, 09 Sep 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:

Volume 2:

Volume 3:

Volume 4:
Destination Z

Volume 5:
The Trial of Plok

Volume 6:
Plok's Odyssey




And that's why.


Plok was not hard enough.

You should have made it as impossible as Jim Power: The Lost Dimension in 3D, which released around the same time. Of course, I highly doubt you have played that obscure title.

Make the game impossible, and masochists will come back for more. Trust me. Games today are too easy. Way too easy.


Wait a minute...

That isn't a legitimate version of Plok! He gets a Game Over despite having four lives left! Ximentri has a pathetically low score (a real score should have been around 60,000 at that point), as well as there being TWO "PLOK" letters when going into the boss stage, but he has shown to be too incompetent to even have found any bonus rooms.




Ugh, I've always had troubles with the Bobbins Brothers. To this day, I've never beaten the second version of the fight.


Ste Pickford

Good spot on the lives Nathan! Yeah, I had to fake the screenshot as I didn't have the skills to get there in time. Forgot about the lives indicator. I might fix the drawing, then delete this comment...



Delete Nathan's comment too. Then it never happened.


Ste Pickford



@Nathan: The score's possible if you go through a warp, like the ones in Beach or Columns.


>"Nathan's Weekly-ish(kinda) Complaint Corner"

There doesn't seem to be a problem with the PLOK letters, I think. IIRC three letters lit up mean that three levels were beaten on first try since either the beginning of the game or the previous Plokontinue. Since there's seven regular levels before the Bobbins Bros., it appears entirely possible to arrive there with the PLO letters lit. I also don't think that lit-up letters of a yet incomplete PLOK were lost/reset in any way, so it might have been dubious in its own right for Ste to have removed the lit-up letters in panel four.

BTW, were the "in-game" scenes recreated from scratch? Plok's pose in panel 3 is rather all-too-passive, with the red Bobbins Bro about to land on him and whatnot. I recall the Bobbins Bros. battles being lots of frantic movement rather than "relaxing" like that.

Oh, and what about Rocky attacking Plok in several levels, that sure must've been interesting to everyone in the courtroom (or is there a way to warp past all of the Cotton Island levels featuring Rocky while completing at least three of the seven levels so the PLO letters get lit up?).


>"Wow, your game is *hard*", says Rocky

Lol, it's not that *you* in particular were one to try and make it any easier. Actually, quite to the contrary, having been a general pain in the ar$e all over the place, and ultimately having been bent on murdering Plok right before the Flea Pit.



Maybe someone'll just look up a TAS of the game.



Is Xemetri supposed to be Zob's daughter? I wondered because of the color scheme and her being Xöb's niece. Why didn't the Zobs use the easy mode of the game? I know it's kinda hidden and can be easily overlooked if you press start too quickly...

What I thought was interesting is that the judge's design is based on the judiciary system of the UK. However he uses a gavel which isn't used in UK court rooms.

Also is there a reason why the background color changes during court scenes beyond giving those scenes more visual variety?



Zob's don't have children. They are born as 'fleas' then genetically modified according to their allocated profession. Captain Skint was rescued too late to me modified so he remains a 'runt'

The 'aunt/niece' relationship is more like a godmother/goddaughter where a Zob is informally adopted by a pair of X/Zobs from a previous generation.

Xob & Zob are more like brother and sister, twins really. Genetically identical apart from gender.



So how did these two-legged fleas without any arms ever manage to advance so far scientifically to genetically modify themselves?

If they don't have children why do they have two genders? I know the queen is responsible for pro-creation, I just don't see why gender would be necessary in that case.



Think of them like insects. Without modification there is an adult state (similar to the queen) but they've long since stopped that and redesigned themselves.

New Queens drawn from the pool of females and they are 'fertilised' by males. Most offspring do not procreate but the gender is still present.



I think Nathan forgot that games are also supposed to be something called "fun", which Plok can be since it's not busy torturing people.


What is this "fun" thing you speak of?



Why didn't they just put it on the childs play difficulty? Or would too much evidence have been lost? AlsoI agree Tim did a brilliant job with the soundtrack. Go home cave, Creepy Crags and beach been personal favourites.



But if you play on that difficulty you don't get to the most gruesome evidence of Plok's clear wrongdoing of all!



It just dawned on me, Who's yelling "Oi, Xemetri git gud!"? It's not in the text style of the judge ect, and Plok and Rocky are talking to each other so..Who?..


It's Milton yelling at her. You can check any instance where the Bobbins talk and you'll see he speaks with that red bubble.



Oh of course, how silly of me to forget they were there. Guess it's the fact I'd be seeing duoble of two of the bobbin brothers.


"And no save function! Genius move by the Pickfords"

Either Plok has become self-aware that he's a creation or he's just referring to the makers of the game within the universe in which this comic (and game) takes place. Either way, funny. XD

Though the fact that it has to be beaten in one full sitting is quite taxing considering how difficult it becomes later on.



But he's always been aware he had a game.



Okay, this is getting way too meta now.

(... "getting"?)


I was starting to get worried when they used the game as evidence but it seems I got nothing to worried about. Good thing they're no expert gamers or Plok will be in big trouble.

I remembered playing Plok and only able to getting past the beach after the boss on my first tries. Then I got further and further as well as getting better. Now I can beat the game with no cheats or save point (even though the game has no save function).

Also, OBJECTION! The music isn't nice, it's awesome! (especially the boss music). Too bad the judge can't listen to the rest of the music.


I used to rack up extra lives on the Plok Town level (it's possible get almost two lives' worth of shells there). The life counter would only register increments up to nine lives (why was that anyway??), but they would keep being incremented still. Though, at some point (possibly somewhere around 50-ish or so, I had lost count by that time) the life counter graphics would glitch up wierdly, and I would stop grinding for lives at that point not being sure whether the life count would still increment after the glitch manifesting. Thanks to these extra lives I was able to beat the whole game (the SNES was left on overnight though).



Does anyone even live in Plok Town?


The Ploks do. Even though we have only seen two Ploks. I am unsure if Plok is named after the Ploks, or is only called "Plok", because he is the last surviving member of his species. That does not explain why he has a Lady-Plok's bathroom in his house though.

That being said, "Plok" is a pretty dumb name for a given name or for a game, even though the game is the best third(second?)party game on the system. (The box art didn't help matters either, but whatever. It is how it plays as to what matters which is spot-on).



The game features two seemingly abandoned towns where the buildings all look nailed and shut tight and they are now inhabited by creatures hostile to Plok. I would really be interested in more of the lore of the game's universe, not that 'wizard Penkino creating Plok to get rid of fleas' crap from one of those ads. But very likely, there was probably never much thought put into the world beyond level design, because face it, the game was released in a time when simple nursery tales were the norm and considered sufficient for most gamers.



Stuff not being in the game doesn't mean it didn't exist, you know.



We just make this stuff up as we go along.



My favorite video game console, the 888888 0888888888! The fleas must of mast produced it or it was grandpappy's console he got from the aliens.


>My favorite video game console, the 888888 0888888888!

Call them overcautious but the Pickfords may be dodging any possible bullets in advance. While a DMCA/C&D letter for just spelling out the console's name in a context such the Plok comic (which I guess is at least partly a commercial endeavour, with the Patreon link and sales of printed copies and whatnot) might seem a somewhat ridiculous prospect, with Nintendo(C)(R)(tm)'s recent attitude you can't really be sure.


Well, they already ripped a pic out of Nintendo Power for one of their comics which showed Mario and Plok skiing, so that would probably get taken down already if the comic was much more popular.


Ste Pickford

Trademark law is much stronger than copyright law.


I'm just glad that they didn't wait because if you wait long enough, you get to see the later levels while you're at the title screen. I just tried it a few days ago and I waited a while to see the demo. After the first demo, there's where you see Plok attacking the flea (Shoot those fleas!).

And I'm so glad they go straight to the game because if they look at the title screen, it said press 'select' for option. They could have put it in easy should they have seen that.

Also, I thought that the intro demo is cool because it teaches players tips on how to play the game.



Now they can't arrest Plok.


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