Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

In Memoriam: Robert Muldoon

"JP: Jurassic Park! Something, has survived!"

I fucking love Jurassic Park.

As a child raised with the perception that dinosaurs were absolutely the coolest shit ever, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park was, and still is, the perfect film to appeal to my young dinosaur loving self.

Pictured: My young, dinosaur loving self.

I suppose it also helped that the movie was legitimately good too.

Anyway, this post isn’t about Jurassic Park as a whole, if it were you’d have to pack your sleeping bag just to read it.

Seriously, this is one movie that I really can talk about FOR-EV-ER.

No, today, we’re going to be talking about a man among men.

A man so manly, even the biggest and most clever of Velociraptor pride leaders wouldn’t dare challenge him without the aid of a comrade.

That's right bitch. Shake in 'dem fossilized bones a' yours...

A man so manly, every hat he owns, even his baseball caps; flip up on one side like a slouch hat.

Pictured: Australia in hat form.

A man so manly, even the mighty Samuel L. Jackson dare not challenge his authority when told to be “quiet.”

"'The fuck told ME to shut up?..."

A man so manly, he can drive stick.

"Get off the stick! Bloody move!"

That’s right ladies and gentleman, today we pay tribute to the manliest of manly men, the paragon of pimp, the head game warden and “great white hunter” of John Hammond’s (Richard Attenborough) Jurassic Park:

Robert Muldoon.

In short, Muldoon is THE SHIT.

You thought Donnie Yen was badass?

Next to Muldoon he’s a fucking choir boy.

A CHOIR BOY.

Though he was only in handful of scenes, Muldoon nevertheless made a huge impression on me, even as a child.

Personally, I think most of that had to do with the fact that he wore a slouch/Aussie hat, which was something I just happened to think was really fuckin’ cool back in the day.

Still kinda’ do, now that you mention it…

Anyway, Muldoon is a hard-ass throughout most of Jurassic Park, but he’s a loveable hard-ass.

Y’know, he’s that kind of asshole where you’re all like:

"Man, what a dick..."

But after a few seconds you’re all like:

"But goddamnit, he's AWESOME!"

He was the rock of the major players in Jurassic Park.

While everyone else panicked, he just kind of gritted his teeth and toughed it out.

Oh yeah, and then licked his lips, involuntarily twitched his eye, and seemingly intentionally tried his best to scare the ever loving shit out of everyone around him.

"I've got her..."

Y’know, hero stuff.

Anyway, as we all know, Robert Muldoon met his demise at the hands of yet another blatant case of a Spielberg-ian spite killing.

That is, he tracked a Velociraptor in the jungle, only to be flanked by a second raptor much in the same way that Alan Grant (Sam Neill) flat out TOLD US this would happen to someone at some point in the movie:

Poo poo on Muldoon for missing Grant’s informative and decidedly not kid-friendly paleontological spiel at the beginning of the movie.

I suppose it didn’t help either that he decided to wait until the absolute last moment to set up the stock to his SPAS 12.

In retrospect, he probably should’ve done that before he even set foot in the jungle, or failing that, he probably could’ve at least tried to fire it sawed-off style.

Either way, shoulda’ woulda’ coulda’ doesn’t mean a whole lot when you’re gettin’ mauled by one seriously pissed off raptor.

Actually, for all I know that might be his "Can I have a cookie?" face...

Oh well, at least he got to kill the Tyrannosaur and a shit ton of raptors WITH A FUCKIN’ GRENADE LAUNCHER in the book.

FUCK YEAH.

Oh yeah, and then there was that whole part where, y’know, he lived at the end of the book.

Thanks for that Michael Crichton (R.I.P.).

Anyway, the real reason for this post, is to honor the memory of the actor who portrayed Robert Muldoon, Bob Peck.

Good God he's badass...

I was informed today by a co-worker (the same one that inspired me to take on the Top 100 Goriest Films) that Mr. Peck had died of cancer on the 4th of April, 1999.

I may be 11 years or so late, but this post is my way of honoring his memory.

Sadly, I can’t say I’ve ever seen Mr. Peck in any other film’s or TV series, as most of his roles were in British exclusive productions.

Even so, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that, his performance as Muldoon was pretty much all I needed to see of him to forever believe he was THE SHIT.

That being said, Bob Peck, Robert Muldoon, you shall henceforth be forever remembered as one in the same, a shining example of what it means to be the manliest of manly men.

With that, I shall close with Mr. Peck’s, and therefore Robert Muldoon’s; official theme song:

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“The One Where Goose Dies…”

Ever notice how sometimes we think we know something when all we’re really working from is just one fraction of the whole picture?

Though I think it’s kind of funny now, I realize that most of my knowledge of movies as a kid was derived from this kind of thinking.

In my youth, I didn’t actually watch all that many movies.

Yesterday I posted a list of my 5 favorite film villains from my childhood, and I couldn’t help but notice that nearly every movie on that list (except The Blob. FUCK The Blob…) was a movie I watched “almost every day.”

 

EVERY FUCKING DAY.

You see, I watched movies all the time, however the variety of films I would watch was extremely limited.

My parents and my brother however, watched all sorts of stuff, mostly R and PG-13 movies that I would have to leave the room for.

 

That didn't stop me from walking in on this one at Auntie's house though...

Despite my not having actually seen any of these movies in my youth, I would often overhear, or be told factoids about them by my parents or my older brother.

This lead to me developing a habit of becoming content with what little I knew, and often writing off the film as unnecessary viewing because of it.

It’s a strange way of thinking that seems to fall in line with that whole “astronauts and astronomers” speech that Sam Neill gave in Jurassic Park III.

In case you forgot, (don’t be ashamed, Jurassic Park III sucked balls) basically it goes like this:

Whatever man, you know you'd go gay for him.

 

“I believe that in this world there are 2 kinds of boys: ones that want to be astronauts, and ones that want to be astronomers.” ~ Dr. Alan Grant

The analogy is that some people thrive on hands-on experience in their passions, while others tend to explore them at arms reach.

In case you are already lost, what I’m trying to say is that; as a child, I feel I developed some tendencies akin to that of an “astronomer.”

In many ways I feel I am still marching down that path.

Anyway, that’s enough of that sappy introspective bullshit, the real reason I’m typing this article is because I found myself laughing over some of the ways I would pretend to “know” movies as a kid.

In general, the way I would “know” movies as a kid was by discovering one key moment in the drama of the film.

This lead to me knowing Top Gun for years exclusively by it’s soundtrack, (which my mother listened to, WAY too often) and that it was “the one where Goose dies.”

 

"So, I forget, what the fuck am I supposed to do now that I'm inside him?"

I didn’t know who Goose was.

I didn’t even know how or why he died.

Hell, at some point I even recall pondering whether he was even human, what with his name being Goose an’ all.

GOOSE.

Other examples of my “extensive film knowledge” as a kid included Rocky IV, which was “the one where Apollo dies,” either that, or “the one with the big Russian guy.”

Apologies for whatever spoilers I may have divulged just now, but come on man, if you don’t know Rocky IV and Top Gun, you sir, deserve to be hit with a tack hammer.

In the brain.

Not in the face, the brain.

In the case of Rocky IV, I had actually seen the first 2 films in the series, and had somewhat of a connection to the character.

Know what’s hella’ funny though?

You know what my brother told me when I asked how Apollo died?

He told me: “What do you think?  Some guy walked up to him and punched him in the head.”

Samuel Peter doing his best Rocky IV Apollo Creed impression.

While that’s actually completely true, Apollo did get punched to death, I just love how straight and to the point my brother was with me.

Bear in mind, we were both very young at the time.

Now that I think about it, that’s actually the exact same description he gave me as to how Superman died when Doomsday killed him the comics.

And wouldn’t you know it, my brother wasn’t lying.

Pictured: The Punch.

The list of movies I used to “know without knowing” (kind of like “fighting without fighting,” but, y’know, lame) goes on and on.

I know some of them are exceedingly vague, but see if you can recognize any of them:

1.  “The one where the bunny throws up and the hippo shoots everyone.”

2.  “The one where the alien jumps out of the guy’s chest.”

3.  “The one where the alien’s chest opens up and he pulls out a ray gun and kills everyone.”

4.  “The one where Godzilla bleeds (for the first time).”

5.  “The one where the guy gets his head stepped on.”

6.  “The one where Batman says, “Eat floor.””

7.  “The one with the black rock.”

And the trick question for the evening:

8.  “The one with the train that goes too fast.”

I’ll post the answers for those care to read them sometime tomorrow.

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The Best Track in the Game #4: Jurassic Park Part 2: The Chaos Continues

Yes, I was balancing the cartridge on my fucking foot. I tell yah', it's not easy being unemployed...

Jurassic Park Part 2: The Chaos Continues is a “Contra Clone.”

More specifically, it’s a fairly decent “Contra Clone” that attempts to inject a little depth into the run-n’-gun genre.

Note that I referred to the game as being “fairly decent,” and not FUCKING AWESOME like Contra III: Alien Wars.

No game in the history of Man-Games has "attacked" as "aggressively" as Contra III.

My experience in playing Jurassic Park 2 on the SNES came in the form of a single weekend rental.

I was spending the night at a not-so-close friend’s house.

Yeah, this was back when my mom was still sending me off on “play dates” with kids I didn’t really know too well.

I remember his mom helped us make some Nickelodeon Gak.

Yup, this shit.

I remember feeling bad about making such a crazy big mess of their kitchen.

That and I remember accidentally over-starching my baby blue Gak, rendering it nothing more than a rock hard, plasticky, smelly-ass paperweight.

Oh well, I could still make fart noises with it.  Well, until I accidentally left it out of it’s jar for too long…

Anyway, later that night my friend’s mom took us out to rent a videogame for the night.

Naturally, seeing as Jurassic Park the movie had come out just the year before, and dinosaurs were still the coolest thing going for 7 year old boys, my friend and I couldn’t resist getting our hands on Jurassic Park 2 for a night.

Oh yeah, and keep in mind that neither of us had been allowed to see Jurassic Park in the theater.

This would be our chance to live the movie!

Upon popping the cart in, we were treated to a vividly animated opening cut-scene, complete with VOICE ACTING.

This sequence was pretty impressive when I was a kid, but to look back at it now, as an older and wiser Azn Badger, it’s a pretty impressive technical feat to see high quality voice clips crammed into a tiny SNES cart.

It’s kind of funny, I have a sneaking suspicion that the dude yelling “Go!  Go! Go!!!” is the same voice actor that played Duo Maxwell in the dub of Gundam Wing… and pretty much every animated character from the early 90’s and on.

The voice of a generation... Damn, he's hella' rockin' the "Bret Michaels" look.

Anyway, as I said before, JP 2 was a “Contra Clone” through and through.

It was a co-op, side-scrolling run-n’-gun game wherein player one controlled some white dude in a gray shirt, and player two took control of a brutha’ in a red shirt.

I found out years later that the white dude was supposed to be Dr. Alan Grant.  The brutha’ was just some brutha’ Ocean snuck in there to cover their asses from Affirmative Action and what not.

I guess Dr. Grant spent his time away from Isla Nublar doing some hardcore military training or something, ’cause I was less than impressed by his proficiency in handling the SPAS 12 in Jurassic Park the movie.

That's right, Dr. Grant can't aim worth shit...

Innovations in the gameplay came in the form of a mission select system, a health bar in place of one-hit deaths, objective based levels, maze-like level designs, and a lethal/non-lethal weapon system.

That’s right, the game expected you to tranquilize the dinosaurs so as to preserve that bloody Scot, John Hammond’s, investment.

Oh well, the Mega Buster style Stun Gun was the shit.

That's right Mr. Raptor, you 'bouts tuh' get tazed.

Despite most of these deviations from standard Contra game mechanics being fairly minor, I remember them greatly affecting my experience with the game over the one evening I got to play it as a youngster.

The health bar was a clever innovation in that it gave my not-friend and I the illusion of playing an easier game, one that didn’t punish you for every little mistake I.E. FUCKING CONTRA.

Instead of getting shot dead every time you slipped up, the game would give you some leeway in the form of respawning you at the edge of a pit if you missed a platform, or better yet, giving you some Megaman style invincibility frames immediately after getting hit.

In truth, the health bar served to give us a false sense of security.

Kind of like these.

There were far more opportunities to get damaged in JP 2 than in any of the Contra games released up to that point, resulting in ones’ health bar draining quite rapidly.

On the plus side though, on two-player mode you could transfer health between players to even out both health bars.

Yeah, my not-friend and I had to rely on this trick to get us past, well, pretty much everything, ’cause we sucked pretty fuckin’ hard.

To make matter worse, we found out pretty quickly that you only got one health bar per level.

Good job finding the health kit Dr. Grant. Though I don't think brutha' red-shirt is gonna' make it...

JP 2 differed from the Contra series in that Contra games are about precision, about the memorization and mastery of a series of small scenarios.

JP 2 was more of a reflex game, and a cheap one at that.

Enemies (I’m lookin’ at YOU, yah’ Raptor fucks…) would often run in from either side of the screen at absurd speeds, often times respawning in greater numbers if you were foolish enough to try and run away.

In addition to the dinosaur enemies, there were also a multitude of human enemies armed with a variety of weapons ranging from pistols to flamethrowers.

Oh yeah, and helicopters.

While most of the dinosaurs were manageable for the most part, the humans were truly a pain in the ass.

Many took several hits to take down, and the ones that fired their weapons (yeah, not all of them were smart enough to do that) did so often, and with great accuracy.

Left: An example of normal and competent enemy. Right: An example of a pair of retarded, hoodie wearing joggers that don't know how to shoot.

This is what I meant when I said Contra was about “precision.”

In Contra games, enemy fire was accurate, but largely infrequent, and often pattern-based.

JP 2 puts you up against endless walls of broken-ass fuckers that pepper you to death with fast moving orange bullets.

Either that, or THIS FUCKER throws a grenade in your face when you try to jump over him.

As you can probably tell, Azn Badger wasn’t too good at JP 2 when he was little.

Thank God for the mission select system, otherwise my not-friend and I would never have gotten past the Raptors in the first level.

Seriously, who the fuck thinks to jump over a fuckin’ Velociraptor?

That's right, you can jump over not one, but TWO Raptors!

“T-Rex Carnage” was the first stage I remember my not-friend and I playing.

How the fuck could we not?

Of all the stage titles, it was the only one that promised the appearance of the fucking T-Rex* they slapped on the back of the box.

There was no way we could go to bed without at least getting to see the T-Rex.

It took us a good solid hour of Raptor-Rape before we finally got to see the lizard king himself.

It was fucking crazy.

Well, maybe not as crazy as Mr. Nolte here, but still...

It all starts when you wander off into the jungle, when out of nowhere the game fades up from black and a jeep pulls up alongside you.

Oh yeah, and did I mention there’s a fuckin’ T-Rex bellowing into the air about 10 feet behind you?

Well, there is.

Yeah, if you don’t hop on that jeep you are fuckin’ slow.  Like, Little Bear slow.

SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWW.....

As soon as you’re on the jeep, the T-Rex gives chase, gaining on you the whole way.

Putting buckshot and 9mm fire into his giant-ass skull slows him down, but as expected, does little to deter his advance.

In the meantime, as this rampaging beast is charging at you full-bore, there’s a bunch of dudes hanging from the trees above you that just happen to be SHOOTING AT YOU.

Nope, still retarded.

Seriously?

There’s a fucking T-Rex on the loose and these guys can think of nothing better to do than hang from vines, directly in harms way, and put rounds in Dr. Alan-fucking-Grant and his brutha’ from another mutha’?

Priorities dudes, get it together.

Just as the T-Rex is within inches of getting his unforgiving jaws on you, the jeep suddenly launches off a ledge and into a pit.

Yeah, that guy in the jeep is fucked.

Yeah, my not-friend and I were just a little preoccupied with getting shot to bits by tree-faggots and, you know, BEING CHASED BY A MOTHER FUCKING T-REX to notice the ledge.

Needless to say, on our first time through, we went down the fuckin’ hole.

On our second time, the T-Rex inexplicably caught up to us and chomped us good.

Kind of like Dagobah Luke Skywalker here.

Yeah, turns out he does in fact catch up to you if you decide to prioritize shooting the fuckers in the trees over the giant fucking lizard.

Finally, on our third time through, we got our shit together and made the epic leap off the plummeting jeep and onto the vines hanging over the pit.

After shimmying across the vine and to the ground just past the pit, we got to see Alan Grant and brutha’ red-shirt whip out their PDA thingies to view this message:


“Unable to stop the T-Rex?”

The fuck kinda’ bullshit is that?

We put EVERY FUCKING ROUND WE HAD into that beast, and it didn’t so much as make him wince!

Are you telling me we were expected to stop that thing?

Well, needless to say, my not-friend and I were none to happy about this, and we promptly reset the game.

Of course, we had no idea that that was exactly how the game was supposed to go, (you don’t fight the T-Rex proper until the latter stages of the game) and because of that, we were determined to play the stage over to see if there was a way to defeat the T-Rex.

Well, naturally we never found a way to beat the T-Rex, but we did find out something silly in the programming of the game.

First glitch I ever knew besides the Double Dragon II helicopter trick.

After you jump off the jeep and onto the vines above, you can still hear the T-Rex roaring after you periodically.

Because we were both upset at our perceived failure, we sat still for a moment, bitching back and forth over what we could have done wrong.

During this time, we let the game sit, unpaused.

After a minute or two, we noticed that the T-Rex’s snout started to appear from the left side of the screen.

Every time it roared, it would inch a pixel or two further into view.

Eventually, a large portion of the T-Rex’s form became visible, and we watched it repeatedly stand and bellow into the sky.

Finally, after several minutes, the T-Rex inched forward so far that it slipped off the ledge and fell straight into the pit below, completely submerging it in darkness**.

Despite this, the roaring persisted.

After seeing that, my not-friend and I burst out laughing.

We proceeded to the end of the stage and got the same bullshit message as before, but in our eyes, in our own special way, we knew we had beaten the T-Rex.

That was the only stage in the game we beat that night.

That being said, The Best Track in the Game is…

Protect the Gallimimus Stage Theme

Why?:

Did you notice how earlier in this post I made no mention whatsoever as to the quality of the music in this game?

Well, I did so for a reason.

Jurassic Park 2 was very much an average quality game, and as such, the soundtrack was nothing to really write home about.

Truth be told, there was nothing really wrong with the quality of the music, it’s just that the soundtrack is comprised of very few tracks, and most of them are very low key and best heard as ambient noise.

JP 2’s soundtrack is not one I would picture myself listening to outside of the context of playing the actual game.

Despite this, Protecting the Gallimimus is a good solid action track, with a surprising amount of dignity and pathos to it.

... Unlike this guy.

The bongo sounding drum beat is energetic and bouncy, while at the same time very organic and very much in line with John Williams’ work on the movie soundtracks, particularly The Lost World.

No, not this piece of shit. Dumb ass...

The music goes very well with the setting and flow of the stage that it occupies, which consequently, just happens to be my favorite stage in the game.

In fact, once my not-friend and I tried it, I’m pretty sure we kept playing it over and over until we passed out.

Basically, the level is a balls-out run through a massive field of death.

Other than the occasional family of Gallimimus running past you, every enemy in the level is a human, making the Uzi and Shotgun your best friends for the duration.

I remember my not-friend and I bursting out laughing every time one of us got trampled by one of the hoodie wearing dudes.

Even more so when one of us got beaned in the face with a gas grenade.

The boss of the level was the big-ass helicopter pictured somewhere above, and just below.

Cuttin' it pretty close there Dr. Grant...

Initially it starts out with a huge cage hanging down from it’s body that it likes to slam into you.

If you somehow manage to knock off the cage, the chopper starts sweeping the area with gunfire and bombs.

Lucky you.

As mentioned previously, my not-friend and I never finished any level other than the T-Rex stage, though we did get to the chopper boss many, many times.

Runner-Up:

Jungle Theme:

Why?:

This is the track heard most frequently in the Jurassic Park 2 soundtrack.

Basically, every time you are in the jungle, (ALL THE FUCKING TIME) this is the music that accompanies you.

Thankfully, it’s a pretty decent piece of music.

In fact, the Jungle Theme is good enough that in some ways I hesitate to call it a runner-up to the Gallimimus theme.

They both use a similar instrumentation, and both have that really slick, almost haunting quality to them.

Both track also share a similar length, with both adopting a number of subtle variations throughout their loops, resulting in extremely long tracks for an SNES game.

I think I hold the Gallimimus theme in slightly higher regard, not only because it belongs to my favorite stage in the game, but because it has a more thematic quality to it.

It is only played at one point in the game, and it’s composition reflects this.

The Jungle theme on the other hand, is what I would regard as sort of a “hub theme.”

There are stages where it is played only for a few seconds, simply because, well, you were in the jungle for a bit, and that’s the music that they play when you’re in the jungle.

Sorry, “Miscellaneous Jungle Music,” guess you lose to Protect the Gallimimus this time.

*SIDENOTE: Personally, I don’t remember ever referring to a Tyrannosaurus Rex as a T-Rex until after the Jurassic Park movie came out, was this an established thing by 1993, or was I just too young and uncool to :

**BONUS: I was lucky enough to find a clip that shows the T-Rex glitch!  When it happened to my not-friend and I it wasn’t quite so dramatic (the T-Rex only fell once), but hey, either way it’s pretty crazy!

Filed under: Games, Movies, The Best Track in the Game, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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