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Max Payne Creators Have Terrifying Near-Encounter With Blacks 1999-11-14 Erik
Alternate title: Max Payne - the next Duke of Finland?
I had kind of forgotten about Max Payne, but was reminded of it yesterday when I read an interview with 3D Realm's head naked-woman-blower-upper, Scott Miller.  In it, he asserts that Max Payne may perhaps, with a little luck, be out in time for Xmas 2000.  Maybe.  "When it's done!" I think is the quote, more or less. To which I respond, "take your time."  My money's only getting less valuable and dirtier and more wadded into a tight little ball.  I'm a huge fan of tough-sounding names for fictional men that take on a deeper meaning thanks to the delicious art of the pun - Duke Nukem, for instance, or Commander Honoré de Ballsack, or Dick Butkis. 

As long as I was staring off into space and daydreaming about Max Payne, I thought I might as well head over to the official site and see if I could dig up some dirt.  I discovered that the game's entire development team is from Finland.   Like most Americans, whose only exposure to Finnish culture is many hours spent gazing at the artwork of Tom of Finland, I assumed all Finnish men were hyper-masculine tough guys, not unlike Duke Nukem himself.

Imagine my shock and disappointment when I read this article detailing the Max Payne level designers' trip to New York in which it is revealed that not only are they not fearless, muscular Finnish construction workers nor tough, half-naked Finnish Santa Clauses, they can't, in any but the most strictly literal sense, even be described as men.   In order to visit New York City - just the number one tourist destination in the entire fucking world - these blanched frails had to hire professional bodyguards.  Here they are describing a close call they had with some of our mysterious and dangerous citizens:

Next stop: Harlem, not a very nice neighborhood. There we found some more lovely (OK, OK, read: real god-awfully crappy, but perfect for our shady level-design needs) tenement buildings and even got to the leaking roof of one of them...

...and had some close encounters with the natives, curious of the six strangers visiting their hoods. Thanks to our security personnel we managed to get out of there alive.

"Natives."  Message received.  No need to spell it out for me.   Maybe you Remedy guys could rename your tough hero "erik" because, get this, I leave my own personal Finland - the lily-whiteness of my apartment - almost every third day and venture into the crack house spattered streets of America without an armed escort! 

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