Video Game: Harry The Handsome Executive
ScumCo is a Dangerous Workplace
, and Harry is its finest troubleshooter: a Badass Bureaucrat
packing a Staple Gun
, power-kicking off walls in his mighty Swivel Chair
. But years of service have left Harry with nagging questions, like: what exactly does ScumCo do?
Why is it housed in a sinister black obelisk? And does his boss, Dr. Ubermann, plan on being his FINAL Boss
Harry stars in a Shareware Top-Down Action Game
, released by Ambrosia Software
for the Macintosh
in 1997. Creator Ben Spees also developed Ferazel's Wand
Tropes employed by Harry the Handsome Executive:
- Bad Boss — At the beginning, Ubermann has you toss unread employee feedback forms in the incinerator. By the end, he's planning to sell his employees' bodies as hosts for incorporeal demons.
- Blob Monsters — A product of ScumCo's Artificial Life Creation and Study Institute.
- Bond One-Liner — "Eat staples, electrode breath!"
- Boss-Only Level / Boss Arena Recovery — Level 15.
- Caffeine Bullet Time — Caffeine pills make Harry flash colors and accelerate.
- Cast from Hit Points — The Force of the Swivel can channel life energy into weaponized blasts.
- Corridor Cubbyhole Run — Done with boulders.
- Descended Creator — Ben Spees voices Harry.
- Developer's Room — Ambrosia rents office space in ScumCo Tower. The staff is out when you visit, but they each left you a memo.
- Dumb Blond / Idiot Hero — Harry is comfortable in the roles of "action hero" and "ladies' man," and bewildered by almost everything else that happens to him.
- Edible Ammunition — Shaken-up soda cans become grenades.
- Evil Inc. / Incompetence, Inc. — ScumCo is under constant attack from the robots and monsters it tries to harness. The R&D labs work on mind control drugs amid nearly wall-to-wall chemical spills. And yes, the boss is nursing a scheme for world domination.
- Evil Costume Switch — Brainwashed Pam dons a leather skirt and stiletto heels.
- Fun with Acronyms
- The Special Planning, Intelligence, and Espionage Section.
- The Bi-Angular Directional Accelerated Staple System.
- Game Mods — Made with an included editor and hosted on Ambrosia's site.
- Girl Friday — Harry's secretary, Pam.
- Hell Gate — The true purpose of ScumCo Tower, as conceived by swivel chair inventor Thomas Jefferson.
- Hyperactive Metabolism — Coffee and Dorky Donuts boost your comfort meter.
- Hypnotic Eyes — Dr. Ubermann has them.
- I'm Melting — Dr. Ubermann's fate.
- The Inspector Is Coming — One mission is to destroy all traces of a dangerous substance invented by ScumCo R&D before the health inspector arrives.
- Interchangeable Antimatter Keys — Color-coded.
- MacGuffin Delivery Service — Ubermann needs the Force of the Swivel Chair as a component of his Evil Plan, but is unable to pass the tests of character needed to reach it—so he dares Harry to try.
- Made of Explodium — Most things that can be shot with the staple gun will explode into fireballs, "as strictly regulated by game design law."
- The Maze — Made of doors that can only be kicked open from one side.
- Meaningless Meaningful Words — ScumCo runs on the corporate buzzword variety. Harry is "Manager of Core Proficiencies," and was anointed "Most Likely to Enact a Paradigm Shift in the Workgroup Mission Statement." Coworkers he approaches will sometimes spout Mad Libs Dialogue in this vein.
- Mega Corp. / Vast Bureaucracy — ScumCo.
- Narrating the Present — Harry narrates his own journey to the basement.
Pam: "'Vaulting concrete heavens'? Harry, I never knew you had such a literary bent."
- No Fair Cheating — The level select cheat was disabled at some point, replaced with the message "Harry sez: No more cheating!"
- No-Gear Level
He had no weapons. He was drained, empty, hollow, and all he had was the Power of the Swivel Chair.
- No Man Should Have This Power — Harry resolves that contact with The Other Side must end.
"All of it? But we've learned so much... we can make contact, under controlled conditions, secretly..."
"No!" snapped Harry. "It must end now!"
- No OSHA Compliance — The ScumCo workplace is full of volatile toxic waste barrels, pipes that vent gouts of flame, scattered thumbtacks on the floors, and mail trolleys that rush about with no guardrails to keep people from blundering into them.
- Non Standard Game Over — If you lose all corporate favor, a voice booms "YOU'RE FIRED!" ...and then you explode.
- Notice This — Memos to Harry pulse with a red glow.
- Oblivious To Hints — A stewardess tries at length to slip Harry his Mission Briefing in the guise of an in-flight film.
"We also have Secret Message for Harry and Important Assignment from the Boss available this evening...."
"What kind of idiot are you?" snapped Harry. "I do not want to watch a movie! No! No! No movie! None!"
- Only the Pure of Heart — One of the Tests of the Swivel Chair requires you to empty your staple guns to cross the threshold.
- Opening Scroll — Most levels have one to narrate between-level events.
- "Open!" Says Me — Inverted. Harry only opens doors by kicking them in—but if a door is locked, he has to use the key first.
- Percussive Maintenance — The only way to get anything out of a vending machine.
- Phlebotinum Overdose — Never drink two test tubes at once.
- Pivotal Boss — Dr. Ubermann.
- Pixel Hunt — Blue keys are sometimes hidden on busy blue backgrounds.
- Ramp Jump
- Reflective Eyes — When Harry looks into Pam's, he gets to admire his own reflection.
- Save Game Limits — You can save at the beginning of each level, plus once per photocopier.
- Screen Shake — Accompanies explosions.
This was simply too much. Too much, too much, too much, too much. Who the hell was he, anyway, Indiana Jones?
- Speech Bubbles — Used to display the text of signage and memos as well as dialogue.
- Technobabble — Parodied by the schematic of Harry's chair, which highlights its "Hyper-Ergonomic Comfort Cradle," "Secondary Spinal Support Beam," and "Dynamic Non-Skid Tailbone Suspension Pad (Extra Kooshy)."
- There Are No Good Executives — A notable exception.
- Turned Against Their Masters — The robots who staff the customer service lines revolt.
- Turns Red — When nearly defeated, Ubermann starts flashing, hopping in place, and hurling poltergeists.
- Violence Is the Only Option — A Family-Unfriendly Aesop in the epilogue.