Sam & Max Save the World Episode 105: Reality 2.0

Posted by Erik-André Vik Mamen.
First posted on 01 May 2007. Last updated on 25 August 2010.
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Sam & Max Save the World Episode 105: Reality 2.0
The beloved intro screen is now in green!
Sam & Max Save the World Episode 105: Reality 2.0
Bosco: Reality 1.0!
Sam & Max Save the World Episode 105: Reality 2.0
Bosco: Reality 2.0!
Sam & Max Save the World Episode 105: Reality 2.0
Is this what a firewall looks like?
Sam & Max Save the World Episode 105: Reality 2.0
In Reality 2.0, even a street address can return a 404 error!

Sam & Max: Season One

The season, Sam & Max Save the World, is comprised of 6 episodes:

Episode 101: Culture Shock

Episode 102: Situation: Comedy

Episode 103: The Mole, the Mob, and the Meatball

Episode 104: Abe Lincoln Must Die!

Episode 105: Reality 2.0

Episode 106: Bright Side of the Moon

A compilation of Sam & Max: Season One has been released in August 2007 by The Adventure Company in partnership with Telltale Games. It includes all 6 episodes of the season as well as bonus contents such as behind the scenes videos, trailers, desktop wallpapers, concept artwork, a soundtrack sampler, and a full-sized printed limited edition poster.

Another episode of the Sam & Max saga has been released! What is best about the new Sam & Max series is that Telltale Games has managed to release all the episodes so rapidly and on schedule. Fans have waited far too long between their first appearance in LucasArts' Sam & Max Hit the Road back in 1993 and their triumph return in Telltale Games' episodic series in 2006. In less than half a year, 5 episodes have been released to the delights of countless old and new fans. With Reality 2.0, Steve Purcell and the design team at Telltale Games have managed to make the fifth episode as funny and entertaining as all previous episodes, perhaps even better in some ways. There is, of course, a catch—each episode is very short and fairly easy, and a lot of the game contents are reused from episode to episode. This time, our dynamic duo of canine shamus and hyperkinetic rabbity thing goes to cyberspace.

To fans who are familiar with the new Sam & Max series, the overall storyline of this season has been about hypnosis. In each episode, our intrepid heroes have dealt with characters who have somehow been hypnotized. Now, the Internet is taking people hostage by hypnotizing and trapping them inside Reality 2.0, a Matrix or MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) like virtual world. Guess which heroes have to deal with this catastrophe?

This episode is more or less about only gaming. Sybil, who is now a beta tester (after changing her profession in every episode previously), even makes a few funny ironic comments about the banes of computer games, such as the fact that they keep recycling old contents or that the players can get stuck in an endless dialog tree. It is also a little ironic to be playing a computer game inside a computer game, though this setup allows for a lot of computer (or geek) humor. You are probably familiar with the "404, PAGE NOT FOUND" error message that gets returned when a web page is not found on the Internet. In the virtual world of Reality 2.0, you will encounter a "404, STREET NOT FOUND" error instead. Indeed, the episode is crowded with computer humor like that. A lot of the contents also take their nostalgic roots from classic computer games, like old styled arcade games, retro 2D bitmapped games, and even text based adventure games.

In a strange way there is very little new content in this episode, since you visit essentially the same locations in Reality 2.0 (the virtual game world) as in Reality 1.0 (the real game world). Still, all the locations in Reality 2.0 look and feel very different, so you interact with them as if they are a bunch of new scenes. Even the music changes and sounds like old MIDI styled tunes from classic games of the 1980s and 1990s.

Bosco has moved to cyberspace as well. His real life disguise is neither Asian nor European nor even human at all. In fact, he is now a half elf, put on to reflect his online avatar. As usual, he has a very expensive item for sale to Sam and Max—a biological weapon worth 1 billion dollars, at least, that is his opinion of the value which, needless to say, turns out to be just another simple junk item. Guess what? For security reasons, he keeps his money online, so that you have to pay to his virtual bank on the Internet!

My overall impression of Sam & Max Episode 5: Reality 2.0 is actually very good. The main plot makes much room paying homage to the gaming community. While earlier episodes may be easily converted from a game to a television cartoon and will still be funny to watch, this episode differs in that an interactive game is really the perfect medium for enjoying this episode. There is now only 1 episode remaining, and Telltale Games has finally announced that the title of the final episode will be called Episode 6: Bright Side of the Moon. We can only hope that the finale will be as good (or even better) than this episode, so that the series will finally wrap up to a satisfactory conclusion.

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