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Plok The Exploding Man

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Vol: 5

Fri, 08 Apr 2016

#106 New Faces

An impartial jury of upstanding citizens is selected.

#106 New Faces

Support the Plok comic strip on Patreon

Main Series: Vol 5

#106 New Faces

An impartial jury of upstanding citizens is selected.

Fri, 08 Apr 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



So are their lips melting because they're still recovering from their defeats in the Plok video game? And why wasn't Irving around during their first Plok battle since this comic establishes he didn't die after battling Grandpappy Plok?


Oh yeah! They are back! I'm realy happy to see the Bobbins Brothers again.


I thought Grandpappy killed one of them.



He killed their great uncle George



I see nothing going wrong with this at all.


How do they wear VR helmets?



Their eyes are in their mouths.



I really don't think having a jury from Plok's home would be more beneficial than one consisting of System Z inhabitans - doesn't the entirety of Polyesta hate Plok's guts anyway?

I'm interested how the Bobbins look from behind, to this day we have only seen them from the front.



I thought one of them died after the battle with Grandpappy Plok?

Unless if this is the 3rd (4th) generation?



It's fun predicting Nathan's complaint each week.



Of course they'd pick a jury of Plok's worst enemies.

...come to think of it, apart from our main protagonists, is there ANYONE on Plok's home planet who doesn't have a grudge against him?





Rockyfella used to be a bad guy, maybe the Bobbins Brothers have also changed?



The Bobbins Bros have got to be hopping mad at Plok for diddling them.



Where has everybody been getting the idea that Irving was dead? The original manual states that he is rumoured to have left the act due to "creative differences". No wonder nobody makes worthwhile game manuals anymore, apparently nobody even bothered to read the nice ones we used to get.

Jokes aside, I'm very excited to see the Bobbins Brothers turn up. You guys have done a remarkable job of adding depth and personality to your characters, as well as fleshing out the history of the universe they inhabit. I just can't wait to see some of that same development applied to the Bobbins Brothers. Keep up the awesome work; it is very much appreciated!



One of the reasons some believe Irving passed away is because "Club Nintendo" (which was the official German Nintendo magazine), said in its coverage of Plok, that Irving fell during their fight with Grandpappy Plok. But as we all know anything publishers said concerning the plots of games they released back then wasn't necessarily canon.



Club Nintendo is not canon.



"Not in my canon!"

But seriously, it's fun to see the Bobbin Brothers here! It's also nice to see that the third one is still hanging around! Let's just hope things don't go horribly for our heroes, eh?


Oh no, not the Bobbin Brothers! I bet Zob had a hand in this. He really wants to get Plok in trouble.

I always thought that the Bobbin Brothers that Grandpappy Plok fought and defeated are just relatives to the Bobbin Brothers that Plok fought. I always thought they were grandfathers and grandchildrens or maybe fathers and sons or they could be cousins.


Brad Silvia

I'm reposting this here-

Frank Cifaldi made a great case for why old games should be emulated and re-released-


I keep harping on The Pickfords to re-release Plok via emulation, and I feel that this gentleman articulated a very good argument for why it should be done.



The difference there though is that there's already several communities dedicated to preserving and distributing these things for free. Also he made a ton of fallacies and poor comparisons, and got a lot of facts wrong. The end argument from me is going to be: Why pay for a rerelease of a console game on an emulator? Those are exceedingly easy to find. He makes no convincing argument to actually try selling things people already have for free or original copies.


Brad Silvia

If what you say is true, then why are there DOS Box games or emulated PS1 games on Steam/GOG?



Glad to see someone explain what happened to the 3rd bobbin brother after grandpappy diddled him. I never knew because of course SNES games came in the cardboard box's which didn't last long so you'd get the game out and then just toss the box in the attic or a cupboard, the manual would just be lost... Somewhere.



@Brad: Because that's the cheapest option to sell a game you bought the rights to, and despite there being better options for obtaining ancient games, PC people will buy them anyway. Buying a "virtual console" game for a console almost certainly guarantees the game will work on your console of choice. With the PC, you can basically already do that and it's usually a waste of money. I think people also tend to think they're supporting the original devs with some of these games, when they're not really doing so. The people who repackage these games usually don't even know how or simply can't fix the existing problems in the games they're selling. The fact they're on Steam and GOG doesn't change the fact that they're often really poor choices, or that someone grabbed up a long-abandoned property to make a quick buck.


Brad Silvia

It seems to me that you are advocating piracy and using the thought that companies "re-release games Just for a quick buck" as a justification. I can conclude that you must really hate GOG (back when that's all they did).


Brad Silvia

I have definitely supported them with having the actual SNES game and purchasing physical copies of the 3 volumes of the comic and the coloring book.

I just wish the Pickfords would go one step further and re-release the game that started it all. I know that they tried to get it up on Nintendo's eShop to no avail, but I still don't see there being a negative for re-releasing the game through official digital distribution services on PC.


Brad Silvia

Huh, my comment seems out of place now since TheByrd's comment was deleted.



Brad, I have seen your comments about this for a while now, so I'll give my two cents. If the Pickfords could re-release Plok, they would have done so now, MOST likely on Nintendo's VC since GOG is about PC games (and DOS emulation, which is pretty much PC), Steam is a possibility, excepting for something I'll bring up here.

The BIG question as to a re-release is thus:

1. Who owns the source code?

2. If party involved owns the code, are they willing to part with it and do they have the actual rights to editing it, publishing or otherwise? Owning source does not always mean someone has the rights to releasing the code itself. Often, publishers (Nintendo for Plok's case) own the publishing rights and often source codes. Sometimes they may even erase source codes, like in the case of the game Blood. If Nintendo owns publishing rights, no Steam releases without their consent.

Also, Nintendo is extremely stingy as according to their licensing and regarding listening to fans. Look at how ungodly long it took for both Mother and Mother 2 (Earthbound) to get any form of re-release. It took many-many-many physical letters to the right folks for anything to budge, and even then it took a long time. Nintendo may still not even do anything on a publish. Such is the sad truth.


Brad Silvia


With emulation, the source code isn't needed. Once again, Frank Cifaldi, who WORKS for Digital Eclipse, explained how they re-released the Nintendo console Mega Man games and also explained how ANY company can re-release their games from any console without fear of legal hurdles.

Also, Nintendo was only the publisher for Plok in Europe. Tradewest was the publisher in the Americas.

We have also come to the conclusion that the Pickfords own the copyright to the game after looking at the its listing on the U.S. Copyright Office website.



You DO need the publishing rights, yo. And is it 100% confirmed they own it and not Tradewest? I've not really heard of that one, they'd likely have to go poking rather than actually make something. Otherwise, it'll end up like Interplay who lost rights to Fallout to Bethesda.


Brad Silvia

Yes, the Pickfords have confirmed that they own the copyright to the game 100%.

And Nintendo did NOT collaborate with Capcom on Mega Man Legacy Collection which was also released on Steam, PS4, and Xbox One.



Source is not always needed, but way it goes, Tradewest would be the people to ask if they still own the stuff. Even if they do NOT, there is a lot of patent trolling going on, looking back to the Bethesda-Interplay-Fallout thing. This is something to be careful with. Even if Tradewest does not any longer own rights, they can do exactly as Bethesda did.



If they own the game, then I'd imagine they're looking into ways to port it. Otherwise, there is another snag here that was not discussed. Nintendo can be tricky on their licensing, but Steam is a way to make funding, I'd imagine.


Brad Silvia

The biggest hurdle that the Pickfords have outspokenly mentioned is using emulation over the original source code to re-release the game, hence why I have posted Frank Cifaldi's argument about there being nothing wrong with using emulation.



Depends on if it's going to be quality emulation. I'd still count the Bethesda thing in this case though if Plok turns a nice profit.


Brad Silvia

I forgot to mention that Blizzard re-released Rock 'n' Roll Racing through their Battle.net service using a GNU-licensed modified ZSNES with the game's ROM integrated into it.

As much as people hate ZSNES, the emulator is still fairly decent.



Way I see it, if they can get a quality product running, which may take some time and patience from all of us who like Plok, then we wait on them or give some form of support. If nothing happens, at least we have this comic and the game is still floating around. It'll be sad to see them unsupported (buying physical now does not monetarily support them, but supports in spirit similarly as in obtaining a rom would), but who knows. It's hard to imagine them not to release anything if they have their rights to do so and are simply in the knot of figuring out good and proper emulation play.

It would be interesting to see them redistribute Plok carts though. Seems like that would be pretty kosher.



ZSNES is decent. The emulation thing is a big contest and argument amoungst many as to what's best and coolest anyhow. Everyone has a different preference. If it plays games properly, I'm okay.

Also, hell yeah Blizzard. They made awesome games before going full WOW.



I have to ask though, looking at the GNU license. It's interesting Blizzard used a GNU license, implies the users can redistribute and share/copy the product.

That's kind of cool of them, to be honest. Guess if people who received a copy like the game they may look into other games by Blizzard.


Brad Silvia

I honestly think they are working on it but are waiting on some sort of response or are just sitting on clicking the "submit" button.

It would be great if they could at least weigh in on this.



I'm pretty sure they've been doing something here, they've got you to bug 'em. =)

I feel like this comic was a bit of a foray into the base anyhow for a possible re-release. I'd be shocked if the bros didn't do anything with Plok.


Brad Silvia

Regarding GNU licenses, Consoleclassics.co re-released PS1 games on Steam using ePSXe and provided the source code changes for each release.

Some of their games already had native PC releases, but they used the PS1 versions bundled with ePSXe instead because of the contracts they had with the IP rights holders.



Well, I'm assuming you refer to the GPL licenses, which involve the users being able to change the coding, distribute copies and the like. GPL licensing makes for free (as in freedom) software. I happen to be an art contributor to GNU and an FSF member, so this is kind of old hat. I'm just impressed Blizzard would use something like GPL for their old games, it warms my heart seeing any big company do that.

It's really nice people are giving source anymore, allows people to make fan games and all the like.


Brad Silvia

Did you hear about MAME and MESS? They've gone free and open source now.

There is absolutely NO excuse now.



I know about MAME, I have an emulationstation that uses it for some nice old arcade games like Sinistar. MESS was a part of that whole MAME project I thought?

Well, the Pickfords could always try releasing under GPL, I'd be very much for it under several reasons and I'd buy that. If they have issues on a proper emulator, they can try asking Richard Stallman and if he knows people who can help.


Brad Silvia

I just hope the Pickfords give us an update on this topic.

Or they could just watch the comments section burn over the hostility it causes ;)



They're probably keeping it under wraps for cheek and anticipation. Maybe keeps some pressure off of it too?

They'll likely give us something eventually. Otherwise,they'd likely have already said they don't want to do it, by which point fans can do a fan distribution I suppose.



I had to do some poking, but I think Blizzard and Consoleclassics used an Affero GPL license for their stuff. Meaning the rom (or .isos involved for PS) is nonfree, but the emulator is free to be altered and distributed. Guess that would be the way to go if Plok was going under GPL.


Brad Silvia

I hope so.



I did enjoy Frank Cifaldi's GDC talk and agree that video game preservation is at best pathetic but his arguments for using emulators to bring back old games ring hollow concerning how Mega Man Legacy Collection (MMLC) was developed: He said emulation was never ruled illegal in court (which is true, I give him that) and therefore publishers/developers shouldn't be weary of using them but then when he was asked by a MAME developer how MMLC was developed, he divulged that all of the MM games were analyzed by looking at the code output of an emulator which was used to recreate the games - So in effect an emulator was used as a tool to get around using it in the final product.

So he urges others to use emulation while his dev-team has undergone the utmost care in avoiding the legal issue surrounding emulation which is far from a compelling argument, especially when MMLC-devs were backed by Capcom which is mighty enough to withstand any complaints by Nintendo.


Brad Silvia

But companies like Blizzard and Retroism used SNES emulation to re-release their respective games and have not been approached by Nintendo.


You mean Bubsy on Steam? While Nintendo doesn't seem to have a problem with that, Bubsy 2 doesn't seem to work at all, and the dev used the wrong version of ZSNES that isn't open source. Basically the Bubsy Two-Fur is an example of how NOT to release Plok on GOG and Steam.


Brad Silvia

I think it was SNES9x that they used.



To confirm Brad's statement, Piko Interactive's Twatter mentioned that they have licensing from for using SNES9X (from its creators, allowing Piko to commercially use it) for non-mobile stuff. It is very likely they would have used SNES9X for Bubsy, but SNES9X is not too bad of an emulator.

Twatter discussion in question:



Don't do any of that rerelease emulator crap. Nobody will notice it at all.

Just remake the game, add the area which you didn't have time to finish, add Zob or something as a boss using a mind-wipe after the battle to have a lame excuse as to why it never appeared in the original, put it in widescreen, and call it a day.



How about Zob as a boss for a sequel, then some kind of amusing hand-waive/lampshading on why he wasn't around in the first Plok and as some sort of tie-in to this comic? Maybe make the comic into a game?

I don't mind which route is taken for a re-release (though I know a bunch of elitists will complain about a lack of HD graphics or whatever), so long as the game runs well and maybe a few save points are added in. If that can get money in for a sequel, that would be even better.



The lore is real in this comment section.


Hahaha Twatter. I like that


Finally, we know their names!



Impartial, huh? Seems like the jury won't be all that impartial...


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