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The Abandon Earth Kit aka How To Leave The Planet

Entry 307 posted in: 2. DNA, 6. Self-Made Monsters

quatordecahedron Don't panic!

This 'Unfinished Project' of mine has finally been, euh, finished. It contains a text from Douglas Adams that he once wrote for a shoe company. A Belgium shoe company! Although written in Flash it isn't flashy at all. You are warned.

How To Leave The Planet

Update February 2009:

How To Leave The Planet is one of Douglas Adams’s most obscure texts. Obscure as in rare. None of the regular biographies mention it and only Neil Gaiman in his not-quite-a-biography-but-very-close-to-it Don’t Panic publishes the text and gives some explanation about it.

According to Gaiman the text was first published under the title The Abandon Earth Kit. Printed on a fourteen-sided carton box it was a marketing gift for a shoe company called Athleisure. Neil Gaiman names the object a quatordecahedron, an non existing travesty of a word depicting an object with fourteen sides also known as a thekadessaragon, a tetrahaidecahedron or, more simply, a tetradecahedron.

Quator DIY Later on parts of the text were recycled by Adams, one of his favourite pastimes, and appeared in The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe. Later later on he recycled other or the same parts again and used these in the introduction for a reprint of his trilogy. Twice.

Although there is a very active and anoraky Adams community on the web there is no trace of The Abandon Earth Kit whatsoever and the web fails to produce a picture of an original. Also nobody ever seems to have heard about the Athleisure shoe company that passed the shoe event horizon one day and disappeared completely.

So sometimes I just wonder if this all isn’t just a hoax, loosely based upon a real text from Adams.

Easter Egg.

For those that have found the update of this post: a little present.

I am not entirely happy with the Flash version of The Abandon Earth Kit, especially the red arrow that urges you to go on is a bit tacky, but although I still have my original SwishMax files I seem to have lost most of the resources it needs to render the Flash file (mostly fonts, as a matter of fact).

When I made it, in 2007, I inserted an Easter Egg, that as far as I am aware has never been found by anyone. So I better explain how to get there.

The Easter Egg can be found after the third chapter of the movie, titled Where You Shoud Be Heading. The red arrow will urge you to press dice number 4. Once you have clicked the fourth dice a yellow box appears. While the yellow box is on the screen, press dice number 2. When the box is gone so is your chance to activate the Easter Egg.

4. 2. Got it? A very fast special effect that took me more time to make than the entire movie itself will flash on the screen.

(Quatuordecahedron model made by Frank MB.)

If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Nomen Est Omen: Starship Titanic