History: The Monty Python troupe is one of the most successful in recent history. The Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie is arguably the funniest movie of its decade and possibly last 30 to 40 years. It is only logical that the cult following of this troupe and movie would generate computer games. Once such game, Monty Pythonís Complete Waste of Time was not only a complete waste of time, but a far better use of the Python license than the 1992 Monty Pythonís Flying Circus computer game by another publisher.
Plot: This time out the boys get to spank the virgin, burn the witch, catch the cow, dismember the black knight, and drop dead. These games are adaptations from the original film, with full motion video sequences right from the film that precede each game. You need to wander about a bit before you get to know where you are. Basically it is "a plotless jumble of cool gamelets," says John Voorhees. Perhaps no one has said it better. Monty Python games from 7th level are in a genre by themselves.
You play Graham Chapman, who is playing King Arthur, who is playing an actor in a low budget film, which (and who) gets pinched for assault on an aging English historian and professor, causing a nuisance and malicious mischief, but not until you have finished mucking about in this game searching for naughty bits and of course the Holy Grail, which is the salvation and preserver of any country that (and who, or is it which) possesses it. Now, are there any questions?
Game play: The activities require a little mouse work on various situations. Drop dead is like Tetris, with mostly dead and twisted bodies for the pieces. Some pieces are not dead yet and you have to kill them or force them to go on their way into the puzzle. Burn the witch tests your ability to remember and repeat the multicolored flames and accompanying screams of witch burnings in order in a game which only partially resembles Simon.
Spank the virgin gives points for spanking the fannies of virginal nuns and subtracts them for whacking less than virginal wenches. Catch the cow guides eight knights out of the range of the cow Catapult and taunting knights. Get hit with a cow and you lose knights. Knights Kombat gives you a chance to hack the arms and legs off the black knight or have your character dismembered. (Not bloody likely - Ed.)
Puzzles: The bridge of death guardian demands ten items found in typical treasure hunt puzzle fashion. Without those items you cannot pass the bridge. No, the guardian, does not ask your favorite color to get across, who do you think you are, you cheeky son of a gun, you are not Lancelot.
Full motion video: Right from the famous film, except for the infamous and not previously seen, outside of the original troupe, and best viewed in drag "King Brian the Wild" clip, back from the cutting room floor, just for your enjoyment, complete with naughty bits. Which is all fine and dandy, except of course this piece was newly created with Terry Gilliam animation and readings by the correct Pythons, you twit.
Artificial intelligence (AI): The naughty nuns at Castle Anthrax are certainly smarter than the knights at getting what they want, and hiding who in their numbers is less than virginal. The cow catapult takes some getting used to especially when distracted by the tauntings of the arrogant Frenchmen, who cannot speak French due to budget constraints.
Graphics: Terry Gilliam art adorns this work in shameless adoration, with I might add a dollop of spam to boot.
Voice actors and real actors: Made up of the python troupe, including Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and especially Eric Idle who was creative consultant on the project. Unfortunately, Graham Chapman was, er is, tragically deceased and not nailed to the perch and could not participate, and, of course, his signature on the box was forged or faked. John Cleese is reportedly making a lot of money doing commercials, movies, and other things, and could not be bothered to put in an appearance or to contribute his considerable creative talents to the thing. (Well, actually he was getting pissed in a pub on Stout - Ed.)
Music score: Original, well, not quite so original, music from the original (Was it original, really? - Ed.) movie score.
Sound effects: Like the graphics are pure Terry Gilliam.
Multi-player: While spank the virgin could have added a lot to the multi-player arena, alas, 7th level left the multi-player aspects to your own imagination and devices outside the arena of the game, of course. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean, know what I mean, man of the world, man of the world.
Conclusions: If you sat through the movie or television show and do not know what all the fuss is about or simply do not like Python, then this is definitely not for you. (If you did not break out laughing by the time the black knight gets hacked to bits, you might as well piss off - Ed.)
Cheats: With the virgins, only their hairdresser knows for sure.
Terry Coleman, www.zdnet.com/gaming/content/960813/python/python.html
Jason MacIsaac, www.gamesmania.com/english/reviews/new/python.htm, 7/10 (70%).
Shane Mooney, PC Games, volume 3, number 9, September, 1996, pg. 72, A-, (92%).
John Voorhees, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 70, September, 1996, pg. 100-101, 4/5, (80%).
Al Giovetti, Monty Pythonís Flying Circus: The Computer Game, Compute, volume 14, number 5, issue 141, June, 1992, pg. 124.