The day of my tentacle

A few weeks ago, I received a fantastic little package in the mail. Inside was a thing which immediately occupied a very, very high spot on my "things which spark jou" list.

What was it? Why, this:

Purple tentacle, in 3d-printed glory Purple tentacle, in 3d-printed glory

This is a 3d-printed figurine of Purple tentacle from 1993 Lucasfilm adventure game Day of the tentacle. This explanation producing no more than a raised eyebrow when given to my girlfriend, I realized there was a somewhat longer story to tell.

Day of the tentacle came out when PC games were starting to look and sound good. Today, the pixels look huge, but it still has a great style. Thanks to CD-ROMs picking up pace, they were also picking up that most data-intensive feature of spoken dialogue. Of course, the back-of-a-truck version I played at a friend´s place was the floppy version and only included speech in the intro, but I knew it was out there. The game looked and felt like a cartoon, and games before had not.

It was also the era where Lucasarts seemed to do nothing but great things. Their adventure games were the focus for me, and they seemingly came quickly, almost effortlessly, great to play regardless of topic or story.

On top of all this, my English skills were at least approaching the requirements for the games. I had loved adventure games since at least The secret of Monkey island, but in 1990 I understood very little of the clues, context, and least of all the humour.

Taken together, Day of the tentacle was the best looking, sounding and playing point-and-click adventure game so far, and it came out just as I was starting to be able to enjoy them more … efficiently. As I recall, we were eventually able to finish the game without using that much help, and a lot of the puzzles were solved by actually getting the hints and understanding the logic of the game world.

Jumping forward

("Present day" goes the speaker voice.) A Tuesday a couple of weeks ago, Joacim and I were recording Björeman // Melin as usual. We were also broadcasting live in our Discord channel, a highly enjoyable feature of which is that we get realtime interaction with some of our much too kind listeners. For some reason, people started posting photos of their desks or monitors as they were listeing. Just below one monitor, a purple tentacle was standing, blaster raised, most likely shouting out orders. I naturally abandoned all other thoughts immediately to focus on asking where I could get a tentacle of my own. The tentacle turned out to be 3d-printed and hand-painted, and Zimmel (the much too kind listener in this particular question) offered to fix one for me too. I said something like wow, that would be great, and soon forgot about it. Perhaps it did seem a little too good to be true.

A week or so passed. Then, one day, a colleague came by with a strangely lumpy envelope which was clearly addressed to me at work. I had no idea what it might be until I stood there, looking at the tentacle, flood of newly sparked joy washing over me.

As another perfect circumstance, one desk neighbor had no idea about purple tentacles, while the other one did and was just as giddy about it as I was.

Shared happiness along with some confusion in others is tripled happiness, right?