CUE TITLES: Fast-cutting establishing shots of medieval town. Professional-style music. Words spin in from side of screen to crash together in centre as title: Cadfael and God. Screen splits into three panels, displaying Cadfael turning to look into camera and smiling. Cadfael bringing down a fleeing suspect with a rosary lasso and Cadfael hurling a communion plate like a discus.
CAPTION: Starring Derek Jacobi as Cadfael. (Another set of three panels, displaying God turning to look into camera and smiling. God destroying a castle with an earthquake, and God squatting down to show a flower to a little girl.)
CAPTION: With Brian Blesses as God (More fast cuts, showing God slapping Cadfael heartily on the back, Cadfael and God running off in opposite directions, both characters leaping back flat against a wall, huge argument with Cadfael and God shouting nose-to-nose, and a monastic chant with Cadfael and God, black-eyed and bruised, bellowing lustily. Close-up of handshake between characters.)
CAPTION:Cadfael and God.
CAPTION:Tonight's Episode - Uneasy Rest the Spirits.
(Streets of mediaeval town. Sheriff strides past, followed by Cadfael.)
SHERIFF: Dammit, Cadfael, you know I can't do that.
CADFAEL: C'mon, Bill. You haven't got a chance of solving this without us.
SHERIFF: No, no, no, Cadfael. No. The last time you helped out we had a village burned to the ground and forty seven casualties including an archbishop.
CADFAEL: C'mon, Bill... you know we can do it.
(Sheriff stops suddenly.)
SHERIFF: Dammit, Cadfael. (World-weary sigh.) Okay. Okay, you've got 24 hours. Just 24 hours, Cadfael - and I want to see results.
CADFAEL: Okay, Sheriff. God.
God: It was him.
(They capture the criminal after an exciting chase.)
CADFAEL: Now that's what I call a deus ex machine.
SHERIFF: Oh, you guys.
ALL: Ha ha ha.
Including an archbishop
No wait, listen. To justify the title, the characters are called Bubble and Squeak. You see? Bubble's the small bloke who looks like Charlie Brown undergoing a course of chemotherapy (and squeaks) and Squeak is the blue thing in the bathing cap (who blows bubbles). So basically it's Charlie Brown and Blue Thing. And it's by these names we shall refer to the characters from hereon. Nobody tells AMIGA POWER what to think.
You control Charlie Brown in the usual manner, with Blue Thing following moments behind. The idea, typically, is to leap around a lot and rescue some things by virtue of collecting gems. Blue Thing can help Charlie Brown reach otherwise inaccessible areas by throwing him in the air or, with the aid of some magic bubble-gum bought with coins dropped by destroyed monsters, piggy-backing him to success using powerful ankles.
Truly, it proves the interconnectedness of all things. After freeing three hostages there's a bonus game where you swipe gems in return for extra lives, and at the end of a level there's a horizontally-scrolling shoot-'em-up bit.
Blue Thing is programmed to stay at your heels, with hilarious consequences. If you stop and change direction, he scuttles behind you to retain the distance. So if you're standing on a small platform (for example, one of the many lifts connection sections of a level) or at the cusp of a cliff, he plunges to the ground.
The slight delay before he reacts to your movements also leads to moments of high comedy, as he misses the perfectly ordinary jump you've just performed without a second thought and falls three-quarters of the way back to the beginning of the level.
Yes, fine, he's supposed to be your patently stupid sidekick, and you have to shepherd him to a point where he can be useful, and there's a button to make him stop dead (accompanied by a sampled "Wait here!" delivered in a horrible cheery bratty whine; why Horrible cheery bratty whines equal Macauley Culkin, and therefore incite violence) but nevertheless it disrupts the flow of the game.
Instead of zipping around and kicking Blue Thing through pipes and finding springs and Having Fun (and there's a lot of fun to be had, because the platform sections are scrupulously fair. Lovely and big they are, with lots of monsters, no leaps into the unknown, no slippy-slidey bits and no unavoidable traps) you have to take things slowly and carefully, or else equally pointlessly rush off on your own, spy out the land and then retrace your steps to fetch Blue Thing and do it all again. Bah.
The other problem with the platform levels, and one which is enormously silly, is that by way of a time limit, they fill with water. It's one of those ideas that almost (but not quite) makes it - when you're near the end of a level, and consequently most of it's underwater, if you mistake and fall off a platform, you will drown helplessly. Tcha.
Said TV's famous The Bible
But I'm still playing it. And have been for some time. It hangs together far better than most platform games, and the puzzles, usually involving getting Blue Thing to some frighteningly high ledge, are reasonably involved and satisfying.
The shoot-'em-up bits (a sort of underwater Nemesis with our heroes in a ship remarkably similar to Palitoy's bath time favourite, Glug-a-Tug) add variety in a pleasantly laid back fashion.
And remember how ("Matthew Squires" - Uncle Joe Stalin) got all excited about attention to detail? Bubble and Squeak pays attention to detail. There's a look-ahead feature, so you can scroll the screen around to check the lie of the land. The game recognises the CD32 joypad, using a button to jump. (Cheers.) The monsters are neatly characterised - the best are the fowl with baseball bats who thwack your bullets back at you.
And, heart-breakingly, when Blue Thing is standing still, his eyes follow you about the level, so if you're miles away, and have a look around, there he is in the corner, watching plaintively for his best friend. Sob.
"What the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away," said TV's famous The Bible, and, do you know, I like to think those words could have been written about Bubble and Squeak. It's a game which pummels you with frustration and stupidity, then (that important bit more successfully) strokes your fevered brow with the other.
Let us take as an analogy the game itself. Charlie Brown (the fun of the game) grimaces at Blue Thing (the annoyingly foolish flaws) after the hapless creature just has fallen to the ground. Then his brow clears and he shakes his head amusedly, tutting in a kindly manner before umping down to help his sidekick. Clouds pass from the face of the sun, birds sing and everything is substantially sort of rightish.