Couldn’t find the story in the hen-cyclopedia, mislaid your October 1993 copy of the Bournemouth Echo, brains scrambled from fruitless Googling? Fear not, only 24 years late, we crack the terri-frying case wide open!
“The idea was hatched to create a new political force in chicken circles.” – James Morris, Mindscape’s PR dept.
Sadly it was all a bit of a yolk so if you have Great Egg-spectations I’d eggstinguish them now – the egg-centric campaign never really got off the ground!
With so many wacky cartoon characters ‘starring’ in their own games nowadays, how is a daft-looking red chicken supposed to stand out from the Zools and Mr Nutzs of this world?
Easy… He should stand for parliament.
At least that’s the scheme that Mindscape came up with to promote Alfred Chicken – and with the Christchurch by-election causing such a stir in the news last month, the whole publicity stunt turned out to be eggs-actly what the doctor ordered.
For the minuscule sum of £500 (the standard deposit which has to be paid by all prospective parliamentary candidates), Mindscape launched the political career of Alfred Chicken, whose long and arduous campaign eventually netted him the sum of 18 votes – two ahead of the Rainbow Alliance Party.
Probably more important than all that though, the ensuing media circus won the foolish fowl countless TV appearances (culminating in a classic scene where he lined up alongside the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative candidates for the announcing of the result) and numerous appearances in the tabloid press.
Alfred wasn’t the only candidate to stand on a slightly less than serious platform, as the by-election also attracted entrants from the ‘Sack Graham Taylor Party’, the slightly less subtle ‘Buy the Daily Sport Party’ and, of course, some twit from the ‘Monster Raving Looney Party’.
All of the above lost their deposits but there was even some consolation to be gained from this, as the same fate befell the Labour candidate.
All of this mullarkey, of course, was nothing more than some barefaced publicity-seeking for Mindscape’s forthcoming platformer, Alfred Chicken, which you can read about in more detail on page 42.
Now what about John Major: The Game?
The One broke the eggs-traordinary story in issue 60 (September 1993).
Video character in election stand
Alfred Chicken – due soon in his first Amiga game – has decided that chicken video games should have fair representation within Parliament and has set up his own political party.
The bird was represented at the recent Christchurch by-election by Karl Fitzhugh, a video games product manager who dressed as a seven-foot chicken.
He stood for the first time just hours after the leader of the Labour Party, John Smith, admitted on Radio One that he wasn’t familiar with top video games character Sonic the Hedgehog.
Alfred polled only 18 votes, but was satisfied that he had beaten at least one other party and danced on the election platform when the final result became known.
According to a party spokesman, the main aim of putting a candidate forward was to add some light relief to an otherwise dull campaign.
Should he ever become prime minister, Alfred’s only policy is that politicians should play video games at House of Commons Question Times.
You’d think one article would be un oeuf, but Amiga Computing didn’t eggs-actly agree. Here’s their eggs-ample from issue 65 (October 1993).
…and the eggsasperating lengths Alfred went to to promote his new game didn’t stop there. Chickens know better than anyone not to put all their eggs in one basket…
“At the European Computer Trade Show, Alfred was there for the full three days, wandering around meeting journalists and generally getting himself well known. Also, never let it be said that everyone’s favourite fowl is one to let a good photo opportunity pass by. Our feathered friend has been touring the famous landmarks with a top-class model tucked under his wing, on photo call after photo call.” – Amiga Action issue 51
…careful you don’t become ova-worked Alf!
Meanwhile in other news: Eggs are going up again. That’ll surprise a few chickens.