Do you have any grey poupon?

specialsymbol

Rear Admiral
So I have to admit:
I have always wondered what "Do you have any grey poupon?" meant in Privateer. When I played the game Google didn't exist yet and I tried to look it up in a dictionary - of course to no avail. I convinced myself that it must be some sort of tea, like earl grey.

I wasn't too far off! Just now I found this:

And this:

Now it all makes sense.

Let's move over to the next enigma: "Barter, economics?"
Now where does this come from?
 

Worf

Vice Admiral
Yeah, it's a bit hard in the past, but these days even Wikipedia has references to it.


It is from what I've been able to figure out, very fancy Dijon mustard. I've not been able to find any at my local supermarket, but it's not exactly an upscale fancy supermarkets I shop at.
 

capi3101

Admiral
Used to have the commercials for it on TV here in the States all the time in the late '80s / early '90s. It is indeed Dijon mustard, and not too bad as I recall. The commercial would have some rich jackass's car pull up to another rich jackass's car at a stoplight, they'd roll each other's windows down so the one rich jackass could ask the other "Do you have any Grey Poupon?" to which the answer was always "But of course!". The implication being that it was a product for refined tastes. You can find references to these commercials everywhere in the '90s...I recall there being one in the first Wayne's World movie for example.

It's mustard. They still sell it at Walmart around these parts last I checked.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Hah, how funny! I suppose it is a pop culture reference that would've made sense to anyone in the US at the time but would be utterly meaningless anywhere else (or to anyone just a little younger).

The commercials were parodied everywhere for a while... and in advertising circles they're still discusse as being a particularly effective campaign that convinced Americans to eat something slightly different. (It's not that Grey Poupon is actually some elite product, it's just presented as an over-the-top fancy thing in the ads... the aim was to convince grocery shoppers to try a brown Dijon mustard instead of the (then market leading) yellow mustard.

I don't think that "Cost? Barter, economics?" is a reference to anything in particular. The idea is the Steltek have never talked to a person before and so their responses are supposed to seem 'odd', like they've just processed our language and read a dictionary. Think of how Star Trek will introduce a new alien and reinforce that it's /alien/ by having it kind of perplexed by normal human speech. "Cost? Barter, economics?" is their responding to Burrows saying the information will cost them and they don't understand the concept at all but they connect it to these other human words.
 

ODVS

Ensign
Hah, how funny! I suppose it is a pop culture reference that would've made sense to anyone in the US at the time but would be utterly meaningless anywhere else

Very much so. If I were in that scenario, my response to the question would probably be, "do I have any grey poop on what?"
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
I don't even remember the Grey Poupon reference, so I'm guessing it's in one of the in-cockpit communication options,

I don't think that "Cost? Barter, economics?" is a reference to anything in particular. The idea is the Steltek have never talked to a person before and so their responses are supposed to seem 'odd', like they've just processed our language and read a dictionary.
I remember this one because it's during a story mission communication. I agree it doesn't appear to be a reference to anything, it's just the Steltek's response to the player character's bargaining:
  1. That information’ll cost you.
  2. What’s in it for me, bub?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
It's one of the gag options for Oxford, since it's the fancy planet. (There are a bunch of throwaway jokes and references... like the Dune quote you can say to New Constantinople.)
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
A shame most of them don't generate any reaction, otherwise I might have paid more attention to them. The only things I can recall the in-flight communications being useful for - outside of story scenarios - is the begging for mercy (option 3 if I recall) from hostile craft and the taunting (option 4?) for friendly/neutral craft, although the latter is a bit redundant since you can always just attack them directly.
 

specialsymbol

Rear Admiral
I don't think that "Cost? Barter, economics?" is a reference to anything in particular. The idea is the Steltek have never talked to a person before and so their responses are supposed to seem 'odd', like they've just processed our language and read a dictionary. Think of how Star Trek will introduce a new alien and reinforce that it's /alien/ by having it kind of perplexed by normal human speech. "Cost? Barter, economics?" is their responding to Burrows saying the information will cost them and they don't understand the concept at all but they connect it to these other human words.
That does make sense. Now that you say it it's clear, I just didn't get it back then. And this has been literally burned into my brain because I thought it to be so odd, that it never ocurred to me to relate it to what Burrows said before.
A shame most of them don't generate any reaction, otherwise I might have paid more attention to them. The only things I can recall the in-flight communications being useful for - outside of story scenarios - is the begging for mercy (option 3 if I recall) from hostile craft and the taunting (option 4?) for friendly/neutral craft, although the latter is a bit redundant since you can always just attack them directly.
I always wondered if taunting actually made any difference. I remember spamming taunts while trying to defend Hunter Toth (but with Retros I always felt there's no need for taunts anyway since they attacked everyone and I replayed Toth a couple of times until I succeeded).

I really love the Oxford missions. In my first play-through I just played along, but when I grew older I realized that by fighting the Black Rhombus you're actually attacking the good guys. Added some nice ambivalence towards my perception of Burrows.

Missions like this really make this game stand out until today. It's not as obvious as in, say, Spec Ops: The Line where you simply can't evade the "ambivalence". Instead it's rather subtle - or even subversive. Maybe this is what makes good stories / games?
 

Rylex

Rear Admiral
I always wondered if taunting actually made any difference. I remember spamming taunts while trying to defend Hunter Toth (but with Retros I always felt there's no need for taunts anyway since they attacked everyone and I replayed Toth a couple of times until I succeeded).

Yes, taunting indeed makes a difference, but this does not work on normal or story missions.
Use communication option 4 to taunt a friendly ship. Even friendly merchants will attack you, if you just repeat it often enough!

More interesting: As far as I remember you can use communication option 3 (as Wedge009 said) to change a hostile enemy to a friendly blue one. Well, you need to repeat it about 20 times (or more often) later in the game per enemy ship. Attention: This does NOT work on Retros!
But it is useful later in the game (especially after killing all those Hunter ships of the planet blockade)... that prevents you from killing more Hunter ships. Just kill enough Retros and the Hunter ships will become neutral or even friendly later.

Oh boy, I just LOVE this game!
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
If I recall correctly, how many times you have to use comm option 3 to appease hostile ships is dependent on your current standing with them (up to a certain point). Yes, as you mention, only Retros are guaranteed to remain hostile, all other factions can be turned neutral if hostile. Likewise mission-scripted encounters remain hostile.

I remember early on, before I understood the faction system better, disliking the plot missions that force you to shoot down mercenaries if only because it makes it difficult to evade them later on if they remain hostile. But since everyone hates the Retros it's possible to make everyone else at least neutral. If I recall correctly, I think that even includes the Kilrathi!
 

Rylex

Rear Admiral
If I recall correctly, how many times you have to use comm option 3 to appease hostile ships is dependent on your current standing with them (up to a certain point).

Yes, that's correct. If your standing gets better and better torwards the affected faction (e.g. torwards Hunters, when you shot down Retros) the number of times you have to use the communication option 3 decreases again.

But since everyone hates the Retros it's possible to make everyone else at least neutral. If I recall correctly, I think that even includes the Kilrathi!

When I played Privateer the last time, I was able to get Pirates and Kilrathi factions neutral while Confed, Milita, Merchants and Hunters stayed friendly. The only hostile faction torwards me were the Retros.

What still drives me crazy concerning this game was an early version of the English manual, where I read something concerning the Stiletto. Well, that's now more than 26 years ago. It sounded like you were able to fly a Stiletto in the game. I first thought of an easter egg but of course I now know that it's not possible. Anyway, that really would have been great!
I don't have this English manual anymore, only a German original manual when I bought the game on original CD, back in 1997 or 1998 (not sure about the year).
 

specialsymbol

Rear Admiral
Yes, that's correct. If your standing gets better and better torwards the affected faction (e.g. torwards Hunters, when you shot down Retros) the number of times you have to use the communication option 3 decreases again.



When I played Privateer the last time, I was able to get Pirates and Kilrathi factions neutral while Confed, Milita, Merchants and Hunters stayed friendly. The only hostile faction torwards me were the Retros.

What still drives me crazy concerning this game was an early version of the English manual, where I read something concerning the Stiletto. Well, that's now more than 26 years ago. It sounded like you were able to fly a Stiletto in the game. I first thought of an easter egg but of course I now know that it's not possible. Anyway, that really would have been great!
I don't have this English manual anymore, only a German original manual when I bought the game on original CD, back in 1997 or 1998 (not sure about the year).
Totally! I don't know if I read it or if there was a rumour about it on the schoolyard, but I too tried to get this Stiletto.
I thought it might be available later in the Perry base after you finished the plot, or on some base hidden close to the Kilrathi sectors.

I figured the appeasement option out at some point after flying the missions by Tayla (which made me unfriendly with someone I was friendly before and I wanted to keep it that way - so I simply tried not to attack them and spammed the plea option, and it worked!).
Of course things got a lot easier to understand with Righteous Fire, as you could see your standing then (by the way, wasn't there an option to reset your factions?).
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
Yes, Lynch could arrange for your records to be wiped such that all your faction standings would be neutral - other than for Retros, of course. It was a freebie reward (optional) when you talk to him after terminating Menesch - otherwise it was a 200k fee.
 
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