"Diane, I’m holding in my hand an Atari game program called Black Lodge"
September 27, 2011 7:15 AM   Subscribe

"A day in the FBI was never like this before! You are Special Agent Dale Cooper and you’ve found yourself trapped inside of the Black Lodge, a surreal and dangerous place between worlds." Black Lodge is an Atari 2600-style action game for PC and Mac, created by Jak Locke as a love letter to both retro gaming and Twin Peaks.

Download link is wobbly at best - you can download the game from the creator's website here.

(Via the awesome Welcome to Twin Peaks blog, which is filled with secrets and updated regularly.)
posted by jbickers (36 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
This looks awesome! And what's better: no James Hurley in sight!
posted by griphus at 7:19 AM on September 27, 2011 [3 favorites]

"Diane, I’m holding in my hand an Atari game program called Black Lodge"

Is that Asian Reporter Trisha Takanawa?
posted by grobstein at 7:26 AM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Is that Asian Reporter Trisha Takanawa?

posted by device55 at 7:29 AM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

I saw this somewhere yesterday on YouTube... tweeted by Roger Ebert, maybe... and I kept pressing my phone's screen, trying to play it, forgetting that it was just a video. The fact that it's really a game...I love living in the future now.

And it's not just the graphics that make it Atari 2600-like; it seems like the randomness of the rooms and difficulty of hitting things in the right order make it just like the Raiders of the Ark adaptation.

As the creator says


Even if you don't plan on playing the game, I recommend the manual for your reading enjoyment, simply because it sticks so well to the Atari-in-house style.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:32 AM on September 27, 2011

From the Welcome To Twin Peaks Blog: one of these things is not like the others
posted by desjardins at 7:34 AM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

I love this. I love how dutifully clunky and awful it is.
posted by cortex at 7:38 AM on September 27, 2011

I love the artwork in the manual.
posted by muddgirl at 7:41 AM on September 27, 2011


Oh hey, it's somebody LARPing Francis York Morgan. Though I don't know why he's talking to "Diane" and not Zach.
posted by kmz at 7:46 AM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Metafilter: I love how du... [more]
tifully clunk... [more]
y and awful i...[more]
t is.

posted by griphus at 8:06 AM on September 27, 2011

Are we all agreed that 'Diane' is just Coop's name for his tape recorder?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:11 AM on September 27, 2011

I was looking at those screenshots and thinking "holy shit how'd they get that resolution out of an Atari 2600". Ah, no, it's a modern game with some retro-Atari design wrapped around it. Which is awesome, too, just different.

Is there any visual clue where the room exits are, or are you supposed to just stumble in to walls?
posted by Nelson at 8:14 AM on September 27, 2011

@shakespeherian: Doesn't Diane actually call his room at some point? Maybe... I don't remember. Cripes. I hope not remembering doesn't mean I have to watch the series again.
posted by AmandaA at 8:22 AM on September 27, 2011

Nah, the last time I watched through the series I was riding with my 'Diane is not a person, just a tape recorder' theory and it held up and actually makes more sense-- no one in the FBI ever mentions someone named Diane, we never see Dale sending tapes anywhere, and on my copy of the series soundtrack there's an insert with photos of the whole cast and on a page by itself is a photo of Cooper's hand holding a tape recorder with the caption 'Diane.' (I couldn't find a picture of this online though.)
posted by shakespeherian at 8:25 AM on September 27, 2011

Coop does have a conversation with (a possibly off-screen and inaudible and ergo potentially still fictive) Diane early in Fire Walk With Me, if I remember right. It's been a while.
posted by cortex at 8:39 AM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

@shakespeherian: At one point in the series 'Diane' supposedly sends Coop a pair of ear plugs. Maybe Coop bought the plugs himself to keep up the illusion of Diane existing.
posted by pibeandres at 8:39 AM on September 27, 2011

Coop does have a conversation with (a possibly off-screen and inaudible and ergo potentially still fictive) Diane early in Fire Walk With Me, if I remember right. It's been a while.

Oh that is true. I'm sticking with fake, because it makes me feel warm and cozy.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:59 AM on September 27, 2011

Season 2 of The Killing is going to be so good.
posted by Fizz at 9:54 AM on September 27, 2011

pibeandres, was that actually in the series, or was that only in the extra-TV material on the Diane cassette tape you could purchase? (Which of course contradicted information in Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes and The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer.)

"It sounds like the Norwegians have either checked or passed out. Looks like I won't be needing those earplugs, which I did receive by the way."
posted by infinitewindow at 10:22 AM on September 27, 2011

I think I just literally creamed in my jeans.

Are we all agreed that 'Diane' is just Coop's name for his tape recorder?

Oh, no. No no no. I mean, in the pilot doesn't he say something to the tune of "Diane, you need to see these trees"? If Diane were the recorder, he could just hold it out the window ...

Or "Diane, if you ever get up this way, that cherry pie is worth a stop." etc. He does this a lot at the beginning of the first season.

You're certainly welcome to your opinion on that one, but I think you're way off.

December 19, 1977, 9 P.M.

     Never realized crime generated so much paperwork. Spent my first day on the job behind a desk, sifting through mountains of waste left over by the last agent in my position. Disappointed that I was not able to bring anyone to justice on my first day. I have been assigned a secretary. Her name is Diane. Believe her experience will be of great help. She seems an interesting cross between a saint and a cabaret singer.

The Autobiography of F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper - My Life, My Tapes

I was pretty sure that Gordon Cole mentioned Diane in the original series. No?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:27 AM on September 27, 2011 [3 favorites]

Or "Diane, if you ever get up this way, that cherry pie is worth a stop." etc. He does this a lot at the beginning of the first season.

Yeah but Coop is crazy, is my point.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:39 AM on September 27, 2011

If Ferris Bueller can be a figment of Cameron's imagination, then Diane can certainly be a figment of Coop's imagination.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 10:55 AM on September 27, 2011

then Diane can certainly be a figment of Coop's imagination.

If we really want to examine this, I think the more interesting explanation—and one that goes a long way toward explaining Twin Peaks as a narrative—is that Dale Cooper is a figment of Diane's imagination.

Diane works a clerical job for the Bureau that is, in reality, dull as dirt. She handles her duties with quiet competence but is frustrated both by the banality of the job and the fact that even when she's the best goddam administrative assistant she can be, no one seems to really notice and appreciate it.

And so she imagines Dale. Kind, handsome, enthusiastic Dale Cooper, an agent who would rather send her audio notes than submit dry email requisition forms; an agent who, out in the field, thinks of her as his line to the world, as the first person he wants to talk to when he gets up in the morning and the last person he talks to at night. A man who recognizes her worth in her job, who knows he can depend on her and is glad of it.

But then Dale grows as a character, in Diane's mind, beyond just this vague bit of silly wish fulfillment into an adventurer. Diane begins writing short stories during the long quiet lulls at the office, stories about Dale and his interactions in the field. She invents a town in Idaho, invents a murder, invents quirky characters: the kind but fragile sheriff (a bit like her old college boyfriend), the conniving witch (a bit more like her mother, perhaps), the one-armed shoe salesman (who she once saw as a small child and was unaccountably frightened by).

The stories turn into a novel; she has dreams, and writes them in; she watches her old favorites, Twilight Zone and Outer Limits, and incorporates themes into the narrative. Eventually she is so drawn into her novel writing that her work begins to suffer, and the novel takes on a darker tone—a rogue Bureau agent becomes a metaphorical avatar of the increasing antagonism she feels from those putting pressure on her to perform at work. She tries to find some balance, to keep both her writing and her job in check, but just when she thinks perhaps she's found a way to make it work it all suddenly spirals out of control.

And Diane Windom never writes another word.
posted by cortex at 11:24 AM on September 27, 2011 [7 favorites]

I prefer to think of Diane as the Mr. Snuffleupagus of Twin Peaks. Just because you don't see her doesn't mean she isn't real.
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:29 AM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

@infinitewindow That was actually in the series, the version available on Netflix WI to be precise.
posted by pibeandres at 4:09 PM on September 27, 2011

@pibeandres my husband has never seen Twin Peaks - OH THANK YOU.

I loved Fire Walk With Me, except for the recasting of Donna.

Downloading game now.....
posted by jbenben at 5:15 PM on September 27, 2011

pibeandres, I couldn't remember if it was in the series but I think I quoted it verbatim. Kinda scary.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:02 PM on September 27, 2011

cortex - just wow. Now I have to go re-watch the whole series again, and for that, I thank you.
posted by arcticseal at 8:48 PM on September 27, 2011

To say I watched this show religiously is an understatement... so glad you pointed out this game! I forget how much I loved Twin Peaks.
posted by bdragon at 9:31 PM on September 27, 2011

@infinitewindow I was kinda wondering how you did that. Did you hear it from an owl?
posted by pibeandres at 9:36 PM on September 27, 2011

Word on the street is that they aren't what they seem.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:52 PM on September 27, 2011

Oh no, it is happening again.
posted by arcticseal at 10:23 PM on September 27, 2011

So, I pull my car over to pick up the hitchhikers I had served at my work a half hour earlier. They were only half way down the hill so I'm not sure what took them that long to get that far but I felt bad for instructing them to walk on over to Trucktown. Well, not that bad. They were hitchhikers after all and what could be a better place to catch a ride than in a place where dozens of truckers could be found at any one point. Although it was a fair jaunt and I thought "what the heck, it's about 20 minutes by car instead of a couple of hours by foot." They see and recognize me quickly and I tell them to hop in. I'm BSing for a couple of minutes and we're coming right up by the huge stump that shows up at the beginning of the show so I mention the area is kind of known for a show called Twin Peaks. I get some quizzical looks and I'm all aghast "You've never seen Twin Peaks?" Some shoulder shrugging an mumbles. "David Lynch made it. You know, David Lynch... ?" More quizzical looks. "It's got a pretty big following and it was one of his bigger hits. He also did.... " Suddenly I blank. "Uhhmm, he does kind of weird films. He did a film called Eraserhead." I get some owls in headlights looks. "Uh, he did Dune!" Both of them chime in. "Oh, yeah, yeah I've seen that." I backpedal a little. "Yeah, I mean it's not his best movie, but I like it. He also did Inland Empire." Nothing. "Yeah, so, David Lynch did Twin Peaks like in the early 90's and it's really great. you should check it out. It's got quite a cult following." I start to tell them a little about the show and I realize it's kind of hard to contextualize the show without getting into plot detail. I mean, I know now I could have told them it's a serialized murder mystery with soap opera stylings but at the time I couldn't even remember the name Mulholland Drive. Not that it would have made a dent in their psyche at that point. This was a couple of guys who had hiked through part of the Badlands recently and were stuck in a car with some guy raving on and on about some show at 10:30 pm while driving them through rural forested areas. I realize I've already blathered on about the show quite a bit just as we pass the high school were they did a bunch of the shooting and I opt not to mention it. We BS about random stuff for another 5 minutes and then I spot Twede's (Twin Peaks) Cafe. I cut one of them off mid-sentence as he was describing somethingorother. "There. That's were they shot quite a bit of the show. Right at that cafe." I kind of felt bad for starting in again, but not really. 'Cuz it's a great show, right? It's not like I could just point at the skyline and tell them how the show earned it's name. It being pitch black and all. Although, I think I did mention it anyway.
Ten minutes later I was dropping them off and although they thanked me for the ride, I think they were happy to get out of the car.

Long story short; I oversold it.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:32 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

If I ever end up hitchhiking, the last thing I want the driver to start talking about is a murder mystery. "And then there were these girls! Found naked and wrapped in plastic! Looked like they'd been tortured! IT WAS AN AWESOME SHOW" I think I'd take my chances with bailing out of a moving vehicle at that point.
posted by desjardins at 8:55 AM on September 28, 2011

posted by shakespeherian at 9:12 AM on September 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Can you believe I had also thought of a Twin Peaks game. But it would have to be amazingly great.
posted by uni verse at 6:16 PM on September 28, 2011

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