Sawbuck Gamer

Black Lodge 2600

Let’s Rock!

Black Lodge 2600 fits Twin Peaks’ creepy imagery into an Atari game.

By Danny Gallagher • August 13, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

David Lynch’s Twin Peaks still stands as one of television’s most subversive works. Just watching someone’s reaction as they take in the bizarre sights and sounds of the show’s Twin Peaks, Wash. setting for the first time is its own form of entertainment. Jak Locke’s Black Lodge 2600 is an Atari-styled trip through one of the show’s legendary locations: The Black Lodge. Despite being an imitation of the most primitive of video games, it manages to emulate the show’s purposefully befuddling nature.

Players control Agent Dale Cooper, the show’s hero, as he wanders around the red-curtained dreamworld of The Black Lodge. It’s an evil realm filled with soul-sucking doppelgängers of Twin Peaks’ residents, including the deceased Laura Palmer, her perpetually distraught father Leland, and even Agent Cooper himself. Just getting out of the first room left me as confused as a non-liberal arts major watching Eraserhead. Once you find the exit, your doppelgänger gives chase, and the game throws a random series of puzzles and obstacles at you. Sometimes, you’ll need to avoid a wailing Laura Palmer who can freeze you in fear if you walk within earshot of her tortured screams. If you get caught, you have to blast owls out of the sky with your “Lodge Ring” to keep their malevolent host, the evil spirit known as Killer BOB, from possessing your soul and ending the game. With all its inscrutable weirdness and some clever hidden surprises, Black Lodge 2600 is pure Twin Peaks, fitting snuggly within Lynch’s jigsaw puzzle that so many are still obsessed with piecing together.

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31 Responses to “Let’s Rock!”

  1. WELCOME_THRILLHO says:

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  2. Interesting timing on this. I just started rewatching Twin Peaks. It still baffles me how something that weird, scary and experimental — even flat-out goofy at times — got onto network TV in 1990. I also plan on watching Fire Walk With Me for the first time, which should be interesting. 

    Anyway, I love all things Lynch, so I should probably take a quick look at this.  

    • lokimotive says:

      Fire Walk with Me is an absolute mess. If you’re a big Lynch fan, it’s probably worth it, but it’s just such a clusterfuck that it’s pretty hard to recommend.

      • SamPlays says:

        I recommend The Straight Story. It has minimal rape, underwear bugs and roadkill.

      • bostonrocco says:

         If you’re a Twin Peaks fan, it’s definitely worth it.  Extremely surrealistic.  I don’t think the word “mess” applies beyond a personal opinion.  Personally, I couldn’t recommend it enough. 

        • Colliewest says:

          +1. I think it’s better than the majority of the series. Definitely a more consistently dark tone but that’s appropriate for the focus of the film.

        • boardgameguy says:

          I struggled too much with knowing what was going to happen to Laura and then having to wait to see it depicted. In hindsight, it feels like proto Lars von Trier during his Breaking the Waves/Dancer in the Dark days.

          FWwM did have some really strong scenes that I could recommend though.

      • TheMostPopularCommenter says:

        The scene at the crossroads is the scariest thing Lynch ever filmed.

    • SamPlays says:

      The fact that something weird, scary and experimental got ripped apart by disappointed viewers in the second season is not baffling at all. That said, it laid the groundwork for The X-Files, so it works out in the end. Until Season 7… ish.

    • Girard says:

      FWWM is a pretty amazing Lynch movie and a kind of disappointing Twin Peaks movie. It’s still great, but Lynch takes advantage of the fact that it’s a film and not a TV show to explore a lot of the dark undercurrents behind the series, and in doing so eschews a lot of the show’s great lighter moments, like its great sense of humor. Again, totally worth it, quite good, but there’s a reason why it’s so divisive.

  3. Andy Tuttle says:

    I only watched the first season of the show when it came out on DVD a few years back. I was going to watch the second season, but one of my jerk co-workers at the video store told me who the killer was. I guess I should check it out at some point, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it.

    • Mistah Chrysoprase says:

      Definitely do so, the murder plot is just a part of the meaty batshit stew TP serves up in the second season.
      Out of curiosity, who did he say the killer was?

    • lokimotive says:

      To be fair, if you were watching it for the Killer, you were probably going to be disappointed by the second season. Actually, if you already know the killer, you’re still going to be disappointed by the second season.

      Still how they reveal the killer is one of the most brutal and disturbing scenes ever to be broadcast on network television, and is worth watching no matter what you know. Also, the last episode is so absolutely nuts its really worth watching the extremely rough second season just to get to that point.

      • SamPlays says:

        To be fair, if you were watching Season 2 to see how it ends, you were probably going to be disappointed also… but it’s still essential viewing. I’ll be honest, I kinda like the batshit final shot in the last episode.

      • George_Liquor says:

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      • TheMostPopularCommenter says:

        Seriously. I have to assume the reveal scene must have been edited to hell when it first aired.

    • Girard says:

      Twin Peaks is one of those things that’s pretty much impossible to spoil. It’s not at all about what the resolution is, but how you get there and how it is presented. You can’t really spoil Twin Peaks anymore than you could spoil a banana split by saying “Hey, there’s a banana at the bottom of that.”

      • boardgameguy says:

        Completely agree on this. I could know every plot point and still love it for its mixture of humor, horror, and character building that is sui generis.

  4. George_Liquor says:

    As an engineering student, I take exception to the claim that one needs a liberal arts education to properly comprehend Eraserhead. The movie was clearly about the dangers inherent in not sufficiently prototyping your new synthetic poultry products before bringing them to market.

    • boardgameguy says:

      as a medieval history student, i assumed it was an allegory for the papal schism of 1378

    • TheMostPopularCommenter says:

      If you have jobs for long enough, you eventually have days where it seems like the most realistic movie ever made.

    • mizerock says:

      I once dated a woman that watched Eraserhead with her family every Easter. She made me laugh.

  5. josef nelson says:

    definitely the darkest ending of any tv series,nudging just past angel by an inch or so.

    • SamPlays says:

      Hyperbole. We’re still waiting to see how Breaking Bad ends. My personal nomination is the end of Shane’s story arc in The Shield. It wasn’t the end of the series per se but it was definitely about as dark as things can get.

  6. boardgameguy says:

    i wish this were a browser game so i could easily play on my work computer