Cutter's Goose in the Pacific
A small airplane is flying over Pacific Ocean, approaching to a small island. There are three people in the pilot cabin. The pilot, smoking a thick cigar asks to the black man, who's the only one standing in the cabin? "How we'll going to scale those cliffs?". The black man answers: "There's a lake just below the peak, you can land your goose there".
It was the summer of 1983 when I first watched the episodes of the Tales of the Gold Monkey. It was dubbed as "Seruven Pesinde" (Chasing for Adventure) in Turkish; and was aired on Sunday afternoons.
After I watched the last episode in 1984, it was never rerun so the memories left after the
Tales of the Gold Monkey was vague but yet strong in emotions.
After nearly 30 years, when I decided to find my childhood favorite show, it was not easy even to find out the original name of it. I found the original name, and I was happy as a child when I found out that the full season episodes were in sale in Amazon. It took another couple of weeks for the shipment and I reunited with the tales of the Gold monkey after 30 years.
So, what was so alluring about The Tales of the Gold Monkey?
I think, it was pure adventure, set in a time and place where there were still lots to discover and explore. The story was set in 1940s Pacific Islands, just before the World War 2.
The air travel was in its first stages and flying over exotic islands on a primitive machine was absolutely a breath-taking adventure. The problems frequently occurred while traveling and were miraculously solved each time.
The theme of adventure on a troublesome airplane is repeated in many other movies and fictions. In Six Nights Seven Days, Harrison Ford was flying a biplane working as a charter pilot near Tahiti. Also, Mister No worked as a charter pilot with his biplane Piper over Amazon Jungle. It
Tales of the Gold Monkey was one of the reasons why I decided to design games in the first place. The adventures of Jake and friends were so alluring and it was so impossible to live them in the late 20th century; designing games seemed to be the perfect way of living in another and more interesting age.
In my mind and on paper, I've designed many games directly based on the show. Many of them involved Cutter's Goose flying over the ocean, overcoming problems; taking off and landing in troublesome places. And collecting some valuables in exotic islands she landed. They were never brought to life (yet), but the main spirit and the atmosphere lives in Rubber Boom.
And some items are directly inspired by Tales of the Gold Monkey. Such as the rope bridge, the airplane that lands on the river at the end of the game. And the Indians of the jungle are more alike to those Jake Cutter confronts in remote islands. When I watch the show after 30 years, the only thing that disturbs me is the way Jake and the westerners deal with the indigenous people. In general, they're not cruel to the indigenous people. But they don't hesitate to shoot them when the situation demands. It was acceptable in 80s, but not in the 21st century.
At this point, Percy Fawcett's approach is the most appropriate one. He never pointed his gun to an Indian. This is what I did in Rubber Boom. We never shoot Indians. We only apply a magic to force them flee to their village.
I sometimes fantasize about what would happen to our characters after the episodes ended. World war 2 was on the way. Some of them would actually die. The Japanese were defeated, so the Japanese Mandate became history. Princess Koji would no longer be princess even if she would stay alive. Jake would join the US army which eventually would break apart from Sarah. Gora Bora would never be the same place where once cheerful sounds emerged from the open blinds of the Monkey Bar; if it would stay still in the first place.
The careers of the actors and actresses after the show varied from average to appalling. Jake did not took part in a successful movie, following the bad luck started with the Star Trek the Movie. But he managed to stay alive with successful shows like the 7th Heaven. Princess Koji - a Panamanian actress, continued her level of reputation after the show. I saw Todo appear in shows like A'Team as a guest star, and surprisingly in some supporting roles such as in a Bud Spencer and Terence Hill movie Chi Trova Amico Trova Tesaro.
Sadly, the worst performer was Sarah Stickney White. As her love to Jake never turned into a relationship; she couldn't do anything significant after the show.
© Copyright 2014 Little Shop of Adventures