An interview with Celery Emblem’s Jacob Jazz
We recently had a chat with Jacob Jazz about his surreal new 8-bit adventure, Baobab’s Mausoleum. The game will thrust you into the shoes of FBI agent Watracio Walpurgis as he tries to escape the bizarre town of Flamingo Creek.
You’ll need to hold on tight for this one as things are going to get pretty weird, let’s set the scene. So, in Baobab´s Mausoleum you play FBI agent Watracio Walpurgis, who just happens to be a vampire eggplant. You’ll be trying to escape Flamingo’s Creek, a town that only appears in people’s nightmares, oh and on Albatross Road every 25 years. You’ll meet the paranoid and strange inhabitants as you struggle to solve puzzles in the most surrealistic scenarios. IIG asked Jazz where the inspiration for such a crazy storyline came from, here is what he had to say.
“The story of BM™ has many influences, they all come from the world of video games, literature and cinema. David Lynch and Tarantino, it’s also strongly influenced by the art of Tim Burton or the stories of H.P. Lovecraft and the humour of the graphic adventures of Ron Gilbert, I like to define Baobabs Mausoleum™, as a mix between Twin Peaks and SpongeBob SquarePants.”
“The truth is that since I started playing in my Game Boy Pocket when I was six, The Legend Of Zelda Link´s Awakening, I decided to become a video game designer, and Baobabs Mausoleum is the “opera prima” of my new studio: Celery Emblem™, you could say that I have spent my whole life with the idea of creating this game.”
Baobab´s Mausoleum clearly has a lot of retro inspirations, although it’s evident this wild adventure has a personality all of its own. This comes across in some of Flamingo Creek’s wacky population of 64 eccentrics, including a few which you’ll face as enemies. You’ll meet characters such as the Ovnifagos and the Laser Chickens, whilst the Wendigo and the reptilians attempt to hamper your escape. Jazz explained to IIG that although it’s inspired by the classics Baobabs Mausoleum is something entirely new.
“Baobabs Mausoleum™, its pixel art, influenced by the classics, but is a very present-day product, very of this time, is pure 201X years. The type and use of the music, the indie soul, the mechanics, the format, all combined is the way to create a very unique experience; an author experience, very difficult in the classic days.”
As you can imagine Baobabs Mausoleum isn’t a game that takes itself too serious. In fact, it features a unique sense of humour that takes advantage of its surrealist setting. The game finds humour in its weird and unusual events, as so many great video games have done in the past. Jazz had this to say about the comedy style of the game.
“The story of the game, like all the great stories, have drama, dreadful and funny moments, and in Flamingo´s Creek its very important to have this funny situations due to the nature of its bizarre characters.”
“The humour is very close to the graphic adventures of Ron Gilbert and Tim Schaffer, as well as a famous Spanish show called “La Hora Chanante” Wallace & Gromit, the universe of Terry Gilliam, Rick & Morty, South Park…”
In way of tribute to cult 90s TV shows such as Twin Peaks and The Twilight Zone, Baobabs Mausoleum opts for an episodic format. Attempting to explore a new take on an old way of storytelling the game hopes to create a similar experience you get when you watch an episode of your favourite series. Another interesting part of this creepy 8-bit JRPG is its music. Jazz had this to say to IIG about the funky soundtrack.
“BM™ has a brilliant and personal music style to the occasion, with a BSO produced and created by one of the most important instrumental surf groups of the current panorama, that we have not announced because it’s going to be a surprise!”
“We have many music influences, such as Grant Kirkhope, Danny Elfman, David Wise… but if you ask me the genre, I will say Russian experimental surf… BOOOM!”
One of the most interesting attributes of the indie industry is its room to accommodate strange and experimental games. It’s this eccentric mix of unusual games that gives the industry its charm and its ability to defy categorisation. Whether it’s creating new genres or redefining old ones indie games have gone from strength to strength this year. We asked Jazz about his thoughts on the indie industry, here is what he had to say.
“Well, I think right now it’s a ‘mutant’ industry, it’s changing every month and is absolutely unpredictable, I don’t know how much this crazy period will last until we reach a more regulated and stable indie industry… but if this happens, there´s no more indie industry anymore! It’s the magic!”
So if you’re interested in solving puzzles, playing golf and sailing on Juicy Lakes then check out Baobabs Mausoleum site for more information.