Jet Star is Garnet, Kobra Kid is Pearl, Show Pony is Amethyst, The Girl is Steven, Cherri Cola is Pearl, Fun Ghoul is Peridot, Party Poison is Lapis Lazuli, and of course, Red and Blue are Ruby and Sapphire
Warning: This post contains spoilers for the entirety of Season 3 Radio Mode!
Procrastinating from writing this blogpost, I decided to do a bit of digging through old files to try to find the very first bit of Radio Abel I wrote (scroll to the end of this post). It’s dated to exactly three years ago (coincidentally, to my 26th birthday), and contains this apology in the margin: “a first stab, a bit too sentimental maybe, but you get a bit of a sense of the banter / tension between them”. I guess that just about sums up this post as well: “a bit too sentimental, maybe, but you get a sense of the banter: The Story of Radio Abel”.
If you’re reading this, you’ve heard the final parts of this season’s radio mode, and you’ll know that this is goodbye. After three years, I’ve decided to give Jack and Eugene the happy ending I’ve been longing to since their first transmission and let someone else take over the airwaves around Abel Township. I’m a fanboy at heart, and I could no longer resist the temptation to send them into the West. The boys and I are off the air for good.
It has been a real privilege to write these characters for the past three seasons, and to work with such an incredibly talented group of actors in bringing them to life. Amy, Felix, Nathan and Rhys are the reason that radio mode ever made you laugh, if it did, cry, god forbid, or feel anything else at all under the sun. Working with them has been a joy since the beginning and I can’t ever thank them enough for everything.
Whatever else I thought when we started working on the radio stuff, I’d never imagined how warmly it would be received, and whatever else has happened in the past three years, the community’s reaction has been a constant source of light in my life. Thanks to everyone who’s listened to our dumb radio show, whether you liked it or not, and whether you’ve told us about it or not. Without an audience, we’d be nothing other than five people in a soundproof booth talking to ourselves.
Alright, enough with the soppy stuff. As this is the last you’ll see of them, here is a list of things you probably don’t know about Jack and Eugene:
Eugene came first, and was originally on his own. This was short-lived as writing nothing but monologue was driving me crazy.
His name, embarrassingly, comes from my favourite episode of “Band of Brothers”: “Bastogne” - the main character in that episode being Eugene Roe, and the whole thing taking place in the Woods.
Once it became clear that having a solo radio host wouldn’t work, I did the laziest thing possible to make the earliest scenes into dialogue: I took all of ‘Gene’s self-corrections and interruptions and put them under a new voice: Jack Holden. Eugene’s habit for self-correction is, unfortunately, something we share in buckets.
Jack got his first name because it played nicely with “Gene”, and the “Holden” came from the only British player at that year’s World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table.
Jack’s location on day zero is just a big love-in for this song.
Eugene’s old career is pretty much just stolen right from Nathan’s life. If you haven’t seen any of his food and drink reviews, go now! Any time there’s a foodie reference in radio mode, I’ll write something as a placeholder and then wait for Nathan to give me something better during the recording.
The season two radio clip “Smiling Too” is an original song that Rhys brought in with him one day, having written it on the way to the studio and asking if he could include it in the game.
And finally, before I hand over to Naomi to explain a little bit about how season four radio’s going to work, here are some of my favourite moments from the last three years of recording. Let me know what yours are!
Amy barely being able to contain her laughter while recording “The Ablers”.
Felix dancing while he rapped during “MC Cheeseman”
Richard Bell’s amazing sound design on the first three clips of season two radio.
Rhys and Nathan doing impressions of each other in season one (this bit was entirely improvised between takes - just the boys messing around with each other).
Everyone singing “Running Down To Cuba”.
Nathan’s insanely heart-breaking delivery of the line “They never brought him home”.
Hearing all the community call-in clips and having loads of fun writing responses.
Felix’s face when I played him the clip of a fan proposing to Phil (he had no idea what was coming).
Rhys recording the “Eugene is sick” clips. We had to record this stuff at 5.30am as Rhys was heading off on a tour that day, so it was a very bleary-eyed session, which added to the atmosphere.
All the stupid sound effects in “Runner Zero”, as well as that theme tune! We spent quite a bit of time on these sections, but mostly because we couldn’t avoid corpsing. One of the best things about recording the radio content has been how consistently we struggle to get through takes without laughing.
So, that’s it from me. It’s been an absolute pleasure to bring you Radio Abel for three years. Stay safe out there — Matt Wieteska (@gamecat).
And a word from Naomi:
Well. I’ve teared up, and I’m sure you have too. When Matt first told me he wanted to stop writing Radio Abel of course I did what any good Lead Writer would do and imprisoned him in my basement, got out my lump hammer and mentioned that ‘the operation was called hobbling’. But even in the face of my uncannily accurate impression of Kathy Bates, he remained adamant. And, after some treatment in a state correctional facility, I’ve come to accept his choice.
Over the years I’ve seen enough writers try to take over other writers’ beloved characters to know that it just doesn’t work. The fans can tell. It always feels ‘off’. So Matt’s retirement means Jack and Eugene’s retirement too. The ending he’s given them is beautiful and right: it feels like where those characters were always heading, where they were always supposed to be.
It would be wrong, I think, to try to replace Jack and Eugene outright. So there will be radio mode in Season 4, but we’re going to be mixing things up, trying out some new ideas and new characters, keeping radio mode as a lighthearted counterpoint to the Oh God It’s So Dark And Why Am I Crying of our missions. I’ve got some fabulous writers lined up to write radio in Season 4, and those of you who know how much I love the salty tears of the players will be glad to know that I’m not planning to be one of them!
And a little sliver of comfort for you: though Matt created Jack and Eugene, Phil and Zoe were created by Rebecca Levene, so you might just hear a little something from them every now and then.
Jack and Eugene have been part of what’s made Zombies, Run! great, and I’m sad beyond words to see them go. But Matt Wieteska, with everything from his patient, thoughtful, clever and insightful direction to his skills at game design, to his letting us *use his bedroom* to record Season 1, has been a much bigger contributor to all the success we’ve had, and to the million+ players we’ve helped get fitter. So though I’m sad to see Jack and Eugene go, I’m so grateful that we still have Matt on our team. Thank you, Matt.
I request a oneshot where the reader is fooling around and is trying on
Charles’ clothes and pretending to be him and he’s watching her do it but she
doesn’t know but when she notices him it’s just fjakxnfjslsn and cute aksjsj
Hello :) I quite enjoyed your request, but I hope I’ve done it justice… Anyway, I hope it’s what you were after and I hope to anyone else reading that it is fjakxnfjslsn-y enough XP Happy Reading!
were in Charles’ room at the manor. Charles had said you could borrow one of
his books, so you grabbed it off his bookshelf and started to walk out the
door. It was then that you thought, “Hey. I’m in Charles’ room. Why not have a
peek? I’m allowed to be in here after all…”
put the book down on the bed and strolled over to his closet. You opened the
doors to see nothing interesting… Just his normal clothes. Something took over
you and you grabbed the pinky-purpley shirt you’d seen Charles wearing that
time they broke Magneto out of the prison. You put it on over your shirt, not
bothering to do it up. The shirt smelled like Charles too. His particular sweet
scent. You dug through, not trying to be nosy. You were just curious. Charles
kept his cards close to his chest most of the time… You just wanted him to
open up to you a little. You saw his brown jacket, so you put that on too,
sliding your arms in and straightening the collar.
finding anything else interesting, you turned away and with an extravagant step
you turned and started to imitate Charles. You pressed your fingers to your
temple. You lowered your voice and started to declare loudly, “Ohh, look at me.
I’m the professor. Charles Xavier. Oh yes. Did you know those different colour
eyes are a mutation? Ah yes! It’s fascinating!!” You were swanning around the
room, back to the door as you continued. You were just mucking around, nothing
malicious. “Ah yes! You! Brunette Lady! That colour hair is also a mutation!
Listen to me and my fabulous pick up line!” You shook your head and then turned
to the door. Lo and behold, Charles was sat there in his wheelchair, in the
you’re trying to imitate me, I’m a lot less mobile.” He remarked with a smile,
raised your eyebrows in surprise. Whoops. Well… this was… awkward. Well, it
would’ve been if he wasn’t laughing already.
broke out into a massive belly laugh while you stood there, his jacket slightly
too long, covering your hands.
uh… well…” You started.
ha… you don’t need to… ha ha ha… don’t
need to… say anything…” Charles said, trying to catch his breath. “I haven’t
laughed that hard in… a very long time.” He was breathing heavily, trying to
calm down but failing miserably.
walked over to him, shrugging off the jacket.
you want… your jacket back?” You said, offering it up. He shook his head.
it looks good on you” he replied, passing it back. You shook your head. You had
the sudden overwhelming urge to kiss him. So you did. You leaned down and
kissed him. When you broke apart, Charles started, “You know… your eye colour.
It’s a genetic mutation…” You smiled, unable to help it.
up.” You said, kissing him again. Well, that adventure payed off.