The world said goodbye to Terry Jones this January 21st, the legendary Monty Python comedian. Not just a comedian, Terry was a director, screenwriters and historian. He was battling a rare form of dementia called progressive aphasia that affected his speech. He was 77.
I grew up with Monty Python as my parents were huge fans of the British comedian troupe. I was exposed to a vast silly world of stomping feet, dead parrots, and spotting the loony at a very early age. We had all the movies, TV shows, and even the recorded albums and books. If it had Python on the name, we tried to collect it.
When it comes to Python media, there were several Monty Python games that were made, most of them under the 7th Level development team. They were:
- Monty Python’s Complete Waste of Time in 1994
- Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail in 1996
- Monty Pythons: The Meaning of Life in 1997
Later on, two more games, Monty Python’s Flying Circus: The Computer Game was released for Amiga, C64, Amstrad CPC and the ZX Spectrum in 1990 by Virgin Games and recently a cellphone game in 2011 Monty Python’s Cow Tossing by Luma Arcade.
One of the best games in the bunch is the Quest for the Holy Grail based on the 1975 film. The game saw a Windows and Macintosh released in 1996. It features mini-games such as a Tetris clone using dead bodies, a Simon memory game where you burn witches and even a whack-a-mole style game where you “spank” virgins in the Castle Anthrax. Non Python fans would most likely pass over this game saying it’s silly. However, those non-fans wives would probably get a good laugh out it, maybe even some of their friends. (ok, that was a silly Python reference you may not have picked up on, but maybe your wife got it.)
Terry Jones is one of the directors for the game along with Terry Gilliam and Steve Martino who is best known for directing the acclaimed Peanuts movie.
Terry Jones not only directed but is all over this game as he recorded a lot of the in-game audio and jokes. Often the game will feature clips and sound from the movie itself, but to flesh out more of the game, Jones recorded additional voice acting. It makes the game a bit more special as you get more Python fun.
Another unique feature of the game (for the time) was it included deleted scenes cut from the film. When you finish the game, you win a clip cut from the movie that shows an alternative end to Sir Robin’s minstrels animated by Terry Gilliam. The scene later would be featured on the DVD/Blu-Ray release of the movie. Still, back in 1996 when the game came out, this was one of the only ways you could see this deleted scene, and I think Gilliam animated it just for the game. It appears in a very rough, hand-drawn animation for the game and later revamped in the traditional Python style for the re-releases.
Playing Windows 3.1 Games on modern systems
Streaming this game is a load of Dingos Kidneys (oops, Don’t Panic! Wrong British joke reference). It would be AMAZING to see these old-style games re-released for modern systems as they are for a Windows 3.1 environment. Emulating the game is tricky. Even if you get it to work on a current emulator, you might run into a lot of problems getting the game to display some of the text that is crucial to finish it. It’s not impossible, but it is daunting for those who are not as tech-savvy or who don’t emulate. I own an actual copy of this game, but even loading from the disk won’t work on my system. I’m still stuck dumping the images into a Windows 3.1 emulator to get it to work.
I already played thru this game this summer after struggling to get it to work. However, I wanted to re-visit the game with a cleaner capture as I didn’t have the best configuration for that stream. Also, I wanted to pay tribute to Terry Jones this week.
There are no-brainer ways to get the game to work if you want to play thru it yourself. Classic Reload has the game on their site if you want to experience the silly for yourself. It takes away all the fussing with downloading a Win 3.1 emulator and hacking ROMs. I don’t recommend this, but I find people have to with “abandon-wear” like this game. Maybe write a letter or a tweet to the people in charge to get a current Steam release of this game? Especially now that Terry Jones has passed away as like I said he is all over this game.
For me, it isn’t easy to get the game to go as I am still on a Mac platform for everything I do. I have to open Parallels, run a Windows 3.1 emulator and then run the game using that as I capture the entire image from my Mac. It’s Twitch-Ception, folks! But that shows my dedication to games like this. I like to do it so they get more exposure and to show off how cool these older games can be.
Check out my past broadcast and watch me muddle thru the game or better yet, play it yourself! If you are a streamer of classic games, stream it! Also, check out the other games that Monty Python made and get some silly back in your life.