I wanted to call our domain http://www.quirkafleeg.co.uk - but Emma wouldn't let me. Ah well.
There are two questions that mankind has asked through the ages: "What is a Quirkafleeg?" and "Where do babies come from?" Well, I can't help you with the latter question, but the Quirkafleeg is right here:
Matthew Smith, when writing the legendary Jet Set Willy, originally called this screen "The Gaping Pit", and it appeared as such in Crash Magazine when they got the scoop preview of it. However the retail release called it "We must perform a Quirkafleeg", this is because Matthew read some rather strange magazines, specifically, Fat Freddy's Cat - an American comic book, itself a spin-off from the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Most of these comics are about smoking pot, drinking beer, and not washing for several years, or all three, and are consequently very funny.
The sharp-eyed amongst you will notice that JSW2 has a spelling mistake in the screen name - "We must peform a Quirkafleeg"
The plot synopsis for the main Fat Freddy's Cat story is that whilst trying to think of a way to make money, Fat Freddy remembers the tale of Dick Whittington (you know - how his cat killed off the mouse infestation and he became Mayor of London,) and decides to try the same thing, in the Oil-rich nation of Pootweet, even going so far as to providing the mice to over-run the country. However, the mice all die in transit, and the result is... Dead Furry Animals! Fat Freddy eventually comes through tops, and makes enough money to become the Mayor of Cleveland Ohio, which doesn't look very appealing really...
FFC#5 has the main Quirkafleeg story - The Sacred Sands of PootWeet - and about a dozen other short single page cartoons in it, a six-frame one about Tuna and cat food being as true in my house as it is in Fat Freddy's. For your delectation, here are scans of the front & back cover of the comicbook, and the two important pages inside, which demonstrate the technique for performing the Quirkafleeg itself.
|Zip containing all four files
No compression - just easier to d/l!
Of course, the best solution would be to buy a copy of FFC#5 yourself. It should be available from most reputable book shops, and all disreputable comic shops.
Also on this page you'll find that by clicking the pictures you can download my favourite versions of JetSet Willy: First up is the purified April Showers mix, cleaned out by myself and Darren Salt, who also wrote the brilliant RiscOS version of JetSet Willy. JetSet Willy II is my favourite game of ever - unmodified as well, but with a list of pokes that you will need! Finally, the gaping pit picture is a modified JSW1 with the garbage rooms edited into proper rooms, and tucked away. I quite like this version.
I've decide to add this subsection, to include things that may be either influenced by the Quirkafleeg, look similar, or even have influenced the Quirkafleg itself.
|First up is the Radiohead video for the song "Just" thanks to a bloke known only as Goblin Grim for pointing it out. I've finally watched the video myself - not being a RadioHead fan - and I can't actually see anybody saying Quirkafleeg, nor anybody waving arms & legs in the air. However, there are lots of people suddenly lying on their backs, (although I think they're actually dead - jolly pop video, neh?) so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.
|Next up is National Lampoon's Animal House. Filmed in 1978, this places it 2 years prior to The Quirkafleeg. Approx 51 minutes into the film, during the Toga Party Bluto yells out "Gator!" they all drop to the floor and perform what can only be described as a textbook Quirkafleeg. Ray Daley gets the credit for this one.
|Another one, sent in by an anonymous surfer (unless their real name is Mordicus Aardvark that is,) but clarified by the picture owner Heather: "We are actually playing a game called "ha". In this game, four people lie, each with head his/her head on the next person's stomach, sort of in a square interlocked pattern. You go around saying "ha", and as you do, the person with head on your stomach gets a bit of a jolt. It escalates into some pretty ridiculous "ha"s, and the point is not to be the first person to laugh. Terribly intellectual, isn't it?"
|A very early-days YouTube video, brought to my attention by Albert Valls (DeusX) - 1:22 into the vid, several players can be seen celebrating their goal by performing a Quirkafleeg. They claim they were imitating a beetle stuck on its back - but we know it was a Quirkafleeg.|
|There is a gent known as MC Quirkafleeg who has over 200 pictures on flickr.com - but incredibly not one of them even slightly resembles a real quirkafleeg. Given that many of his pictures appear to have been taken in drinking establishments, this is even more confounding.|
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