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InXile remembers the moment it created a young game and became caught up in a moral panic as it marks its 20th anniversary

At least you can chuckle when you look back and say, “No, not that!”

The legendary InXile Entertainment, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, just posted a new studio film featuring some of its leading figures discussing the overall adventure. Brian Fargo, the co-founder of Interplay, established InXile in 2002. Its debut title, The Bard’s Tale, a fourth-wall-breaking APRG that succeeded in the elusive accomplishment of being a genuinely amusing videogame, set a high bar.

However, quality doesn’t always triumph, and InXile frequently experienced difficult times, including periods when the company had to produce mobile and Nintendo DS games to pay the bills. It didn’t help that certain ideas were dropped. For example, when I went to a Codemasters preview event many years ago, I saw a demo of Heist, a detailed bank robbery strategy game that would never be released. It genuinely appeared to have the potential to be fantastic, but obviously, appearances can be deceiving.

The studio’s anniversary movie explores many of its highs and lows, but an occurrence I’d completely missed at the time is what really left me in awe. The massive Nintendo DS market and its seemingly limitless hunger for “lite” style sim games were one of the directions InXile sought when it was trying to keep things running.

Fargo stated, “The earth was moving beneath our feet.” We just need to be brave businessmen since we hold the rights to Line Rider, I guess. When Nintendogs later came out, I said, “Let’s do cats,” and we ended up selling somewhere around three-quarters of a million copies. What further should be done considering what dogs have already actually achieved? Well, people adore children…”

Baby Pals would eventually be created from this, but what transpired soon after its initial release must have astounded InXile. The anniversary video features footage from an American cable news program where the reporter claims that the mother was upset after giving her 8-year-old daughter the game as a prize before “discovering” that it had a hidden message. The infant seems to be saying, “Islam is the light.”

Fargo stated, “We purchased the sound library. Which, ‘know, looked safe because Mattel had previously used it for one of their dolls. Then, all of a sudden, we are in the headlines because, if you pay close attention, the infant is saying, “Islam is the light.”

“Okay, you’ve got to be kidding me, I think. That was a bit of a stretch, I agree.

Another voice adds, “It wasn’t even words,” and they are undoubtedly correct. However, the disparate baby noises combine to form a strange approximation that may be heard if you look for it (and some people undoubtedly do).

As Elene Campbell of InXile recalls, “It was just a baby babbling.” “There were no secret references, and it was such a foolish mistake that it caused so much grief. Yet Baby Pals was fantastic!”

The game’s publisher at the time stated: “The sound in the question of this babble may sound like the words night, right, or light, but it is only coincidence as The sounds were also found in Mattel’s dolls at the time. The baby recorded was too young to speak these words, let alone a completely grammatically perfect phrase.

The uproar finally fizzled out, and the cable news channels that were constantly upset turned their attention to other things, like French mustard.

The company InXile appears to be doing much better these days, as both gamers and critics have praised its most recent game, Wasteland 3. Although the studio was just acquired by Microsoft, it is still unknown what its upcoming project would entail. However, the many talking heads present clearly suggest it will be the style of game the firm is known for. And no, Baby Pals are not included in that.

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