Thursday, 16 February 2012

This week: Monty Saurus on the Stickleback 5 1998

Monty Saurus was a children's game released by Spoilt Child Studios America in 1998 on it's new system the Stickleback 5.

The game was aged at children between the ages of 4-6 years. The premise of the game was a simple one, move the friendly, cartoon, dinosaur, left and right collecting pickups. These pickups being: food, drink, and eating cavemen.

The controllers for the Stickleback were hard wired single button affairs, with a single joystick. Technological advances had meant Spoilt Child Studios had developed an accompanying head set with microphone. In the case of Monty, it allowed children to give him orders: "eat", "bite" and "poop!"

Initial success was apparent, for straight away, heavy demand was being made in the run up to Christmas 1998. Unfortunately for Spoilt Child, they had not had enough time game testing, and were soon aware of gaming issues.

What senior developer Orville Shapeshifter had chosen to omit to other staff, was the internal "intelligence" of the game. Orville had been "moon lighting" at Black Onyx Games up the road. Onyx were themselves working on a gaming console for teenagers, and using the very same chip that Orville had used for the Stickleback. Orville was more than aware that the "Intellechip" was going to be big, but knew that Onyx were ironing out bugs for their forthcoming machine The Bachelorg, a gaming system for single men and losers and would be some time.

With this, Orville decided to see if the chip would push a long in a children's console. His eagerness was his downfall though as complaints were soon coming in. Parents were appalled to find out what their child could make Monty do. Here is an exert from one complaint:

"I came into the living room and sat down to watch my son playing his favourite game Monty Saurus. What I saw on screen was disgusting. My son was telling Monty to "bite" until he had eaten all the fruit off the trees. He then told Monty to "poop!" so he did. He then turned Monty round to eat his own "poop!" I couldn't believe this was happening. Next my son made Monty "puke" as he obviously didn't want to eat poop! Monty was then sick. I thought this was bad enough but then my son shouts "bite!" so excitedly. Monty starts eating the "poop sick!" I was shocked. My son then gets Monty to walk over to a bunch of cavemen. I thought he was going to "bite" as the game instructs, but no. My son shouts "poop!" and quick as you like, Monty has defecated on the caveman! He then tells Monty to "bite" again. Jesus, the poor dinosaur is eating a man covered in dinosaur crap! So then my son tells Monty to "puke" again, but on more cavemen! This goes on and on till Monty becomes pale and falls over. He doesn't get up! My son shouts: "yeah, Monty is dead!" I switched the machine off and sent him to his room. What were you people thinking?!"

Reports like this flooded Spoilt Child, who were rightly concerned and ordered a full recall on the system and game. The investigation led all the way to Shapeshifter, who could not be found. Days later his body was found inside a windmill. On a Crazy Golf course. Suicide was the verdict, so nobody else was accused. Leaving Shapeshifter as the sole person for the disaster.

Spoilt Child Studios was broken up and never again made technology of the kind again. But what of Black Onyx and the Bachelorg?

The following year the Bachelorg was released and became the biggest selling new console ever. And what sold the console so well? The Bundled game: Celebrity Breakdown.


  1. I suppose kids have to know the facts of life and death at some point, like how the dinosaurs died out due a strange affliction that made them eat their own defecation in a constant cycle. Better learning that from a game than a weird bloke with patches on his jacket elbows, and yes, I am talking about 1950s public information films.

    1. A stop motion animatronic squirrel taught me how to cross the road. True story

  2. did the mother not think of intervening before the child had finally made the animal eat , sleep and shit himself to death, she was clearly also engrossed in the game and most likely indulged herself in a few hours gameplay( sound turned down ) once the child was in his room,
    as regards to reading about Shapeshifters demise i couldnt help myself but to tap my foot and hum along to the last verse of Half Man Half Biscuits classic song 24 hour garage people...
    Oh he went to play golf on a Sunday morning,
    Just a mile and a half from town,
    His head was found on a driving range,
    And his body has never been found

    1. Every parent has a go at a kids console it's the law. That woman clearly knew what was going down yet chose to ignore it as her kid needed to be warped before she rang "the real" injury lawyers for YOU!
      It's the condensation culture we live in don't you knows!