The oral history of Flombin(?)

Three blue pencil sketches of Flombin on a thorny background

It’s always tragic whenever a project goes in the can before it sees the light of day. Whether it’s market difficulties or internal strife, the gestation of a creative work is always risky. It’s entirely possible for paintings, movies, and email blast campaigns to be nixed before they have a day in the sunlight. Luckily for my adoring audience, I have such a title to preserve for as long as this domain stays up. Ladies, etc., I present Flombin to the world.

When I say that Flombin was trashed without anybody realizing it, I mean it. There are no magazine clippings to go off of. No code survives. The game apparently didn’t even make it to any certification process at Nintendo or Sega. Literally no information would’ve survived if it weren’t for the lucky interview I was able to score. Poof. Just a blip on the cruel radar we call history. Thus, I am utterly grateful for the opportunity to speak to the former intern at Coughdrop House of Woodbridge, NJ: Gerald Hastington.

I conducted the following interview in the abandoned building that Coughdrop devs used to work at.

Introducing Mr. Hastington

Gerald, it’s great to have you here. I know your schedule is pretty busy nowadays.

GH: Thank you, Beat. I’m flattered. I didn’t think anyone would care about Flombin in the year 2024. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure anyone cared about it in 1993. Boy, things have sure changed since then. I can’t believe there’s three PlayStation consoles now.

Five.

GH: Eh?

There are five PlayStation home consoles now. They just put out a Spider-Man game for the fifth.

GH: Pff, that’s nuts. What are you talking about? I’ve been waiting for that fourth one to come for ages!

I’ve been waiting for it to die.

GH: What’s next, motion controls are out of style all of a sudden? Yeah, right. (takes out a granola bar, sniffs it, scarfs it down in five seconds)

I’d love to know what’s in that granola bar.

GH: I count… four microplastics.

Oh, really?

GH: Yes. At my current rate, I will be able to excrete credit cards at will. That way, I can finally pull off the greatest fraud scheme ever conceived.

You do realize I’m publishing this on a publicly available website?

GH: Naturally.

Uh-huh.

How Flombin came to be

I know it was supposed to a 2D platformer for all the major systems, but that’s it. Care to impart me with any further knowledge?

GH: Right, so our boss had heard of this cool new thing called Sonic. It was like a Looney Tunes but fast. Then, there was the Mario, and he was pregnant, I think.

I’m sorry, what the actual fuck are you talking about?

GH: There were only three guys working for him at that point. All interns. No one wanted to hire us, so we really just drew dicks on MS Paint whenever we weren’t out to lunch. Then, this guy comes in saying that he wants us to make a Sonic Mario. We were like, “Okay, fuck it.” So, it came time to stop drawing the dicks and draw a character that could be as Looney Tunes as Sonic and pregnant like Mario.

I assure you that Mario was never pregnant. He was round, but like-

GH: Um, I’m pretty sure I know what “pregnant” looks like, Beat. Anyway, we looked through a Toys ‘R’ Us catalog and found out that all of the good animals were taken. Mario was the human and Awesome Possum was the ferret. We got desperate, so we shouted the first animal that came to our heads, at the same time. One guy said “fly,” another said “penguin,” and I said “Sneetch.”

Like, the Dr. Suess character.

GH: Who’s Dr. Suess?

No one. Please continue.

Additional character design notes

GH: Our thought process was, like, what kid doesn’t love a character with the head of a fly, nose of a guy, body of a penguin, and the mandibles of a bee?

Wait, where did the bee mandibles come from?

GH: We had a bee infestation one afternoon, and we all got stung bad. After that, it was like, “Wouldn’t it be so cool if that experience went into the game?”

Natch!

GH: Soon, we did a mockup to really get the feel of the game down before we proceeded to make the game. I actually still have it. It was the only thing we were able to get from the color printer before the repo guys took all of our stuff.

Excellent! You wouldn’t mind if I included it in the article?

GH: Well, it’s been up on eBay for years with no takers, so I don’t see why not.

A mockup of the game "Flombin," an alleged 2D platformer.

Alright, let’s talk about this mockup!

I see it definitely would’ve been in the mold of Mario, etc. Although, I’m curious if having this mockup encompass a small island was intentional.

GH: We did light research on our competition, and we noticed that they all tried to have long levels. We wanted to stand out, by really isolating the player. Each level of Flombin would’ve been a tropical island of some sort. Your job would’ve been to consume its wildlife, and then lie in waiting.

Lie in waiting…

GH: Children need to contemplate what they are doing in the world before they proceed.

The classic tactic: Make them do the thing, then hit them with “Don’t you feel bad for doing the thing?”

GH: We also wanted to include a realistic currency in the game. So, you collect British pounds in the game. You probably get some by jumping on the apple.

Yeah, that’s sticking out like a sore thumb to me. It’s an apple on a spring, with a pistol.

GH: If you didn’t jump immediately, you’d be dead! He would’ve pulled the trigger in 2.35674 seconds! Also, we thought it’d be funny if the apple jumped up past the screen so that you couldn’t kill him. You’d just be stuck.

Hee hee. Hoo hoo.

GH: Imagine you’re a little snot-nosed shit and you realize you can’t get past it.

I imagine that I would run back to the store and walk out with my money back.

Why Flombin was cancelled.

Truth be told, I have a solid gut feeling I know why Flombin was cancelled.

GH: Does it have anything to do with our coding ability?

Well, I’m not exactly a great coder myself, and no source code survives, right?

GH: Yep! It’s sad, isn’t it? I mean, it doesn’t help that none of us could code.

What.

GH: Yeah, we did that mockup, then we realized that none of us could code. We were just interns. Y’know, get coffee for the programmers. One day, our boss went out to look for programmers. He never came back, though. Six months later, some repo guys took all our stuff in the middle of a dick drawing session.

So, the game doesn’t exist. It’s literally a crude drawing by some college frat boys

GH: I guess.

Did you do anything else besides draw dicks and eat?

GH: We porked.

I think we’re done here.

GH: Wanna pork me?

Fat chance. I have a date after this, anyway. Make yourself useful and tell me where Ruby Tuesday is.

GH: Sure. That’s where the Flombin guys would eat before and/or after porking. Me, Kunio Jones, and Larry Finch.

K-Kunio Jones was a Flombin developer.

GH: Oh, you know him?

…No, the name just sounded familiar!

GH: Alright. Anyway, I’ll drive you.

I’m not sure I trust you with a car, but okay. You can just drop me off. Please don’t look in any of the windows.

(author’s note: i didn’t have the heart to tell him that my date was kunio jones. i technically interviewed him inside a nearby best western, but the contents are a secret i’ll keep with me to the grave.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *